I have a polygon shapefile containing polygons representing green spaces and a point shapefile of postcode centroids and am hoping to carry out closest facility analysis in ArcMap to calculate the shortest distance from each postcode to a green space. However it doesn't seem that I can load locations as incidents or facilities which are polygons, as whenever I try a message comes up reading "the input features must have the correct geometry type or have location fields".

Because of this I was alternatively thinking of creating a point layer of access points by manually digitizing them for each green space, so that I could carry out the analysis with these instead, since points seem to load fine as locations. However, as I have a few hundred green spaces, it will be very time consuming to work out where all the access points are and then digitise them. So I was wondering whether there is a way I can just load the polygons as locations to use in the network analysis, or whether there's perhaps a way in which I can intersect the network dataset with the green space polygons to create a point shapefile of the points where they both intersect?

I suppose this would essentially generate a layer of access points I could use, rather than having to manually digitize them all, but I'm not sure whether it's possible to do this or not?

2 Answers 2


I don't believe you can use polygons as facilities, unfortunately. I'm trying to approach this same question, and this is the best answer I've found (along the lines of your idea about intersecting ND & polygons):

Closest Facility: Polygons as locations?

  • Yes, this is the approach I think I'm going to go for now, I'm not sure of any alternatives
    – Charlotte
    Aug 7, 2015 at 18:26

Try to create some centroid from your polygon. i't will be your center point for every greenspace polygon.
Search feature to point.
I've tried but maybe polygon can't be the input data.

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