I'm learning how to use Network Analyst, and I'm not entirely sure what to do (or search for). My objective is to measure the nearest distance from the red circles to the blue circles along a road network:

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I have made a network in ArcCatalog using the network wizard and I'm just interested in the simplest network distance. My network looks like this:

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Is this calculation possible to do? My red points are generated as centerpoints of a grid as I am just interested in the average distance for each grid. I realize that these red points are not on the network, so I'm not sure if that is a problem for the calculation.

What should be my next steps? (after reading more of the help documentation!)

1 Answer 1


Firstly, I am not clear on what kind of output you expect. Do the red and blue vertices consist of pairs? (i.e. do you want the shortest path from one of the red vertex to a specific blue Vertex?)

You should have a look at creating shortest routes This requires all the stops that you route must past through. So assuming that your requirement is the shortest path from a red vertex to it's corresponding blue vertex, you'll only have to add both these points as 'Stops' and then you should just click on the 'Solve' button.

You will get the best route (impedance wise)

What you need is the 'Closest facility analysis'. Please see this page: Closest facility analysis In your case, the Red points will be the incidents, while the blue points will be your facilities. This will give you the drive distance or the network distance.

  • I'm interested in just calculating the shortest distances from each red point to the closest blue point. So I was hoping for a list of distances e.g. Red Point 1 - 3km, Red Point 2 - 7km, etc
    – djq
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:39
  • You will need to use the 'closest facilities' operation. I'll Update my answer with that Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:50
  • Thanks @Devdatta - this is my first foray into the world of network analyst.
    – djq
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:57

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