I work for an aerial surveying firm and have a point shapefile of every location we need to fly over to survey. There are approximately 500 features in this dataset. I would like to determine the optimum flight path so I may fly over each site once. I do not need/ want to use a road network. I have ArcGIS 10.3.1 and every extension.

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    You could probably do something like a best route, but you'd have to create lines between every point to create ways on which a route is analysed / created: resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//… – DPSSpatial Aug 6 '15 at 21:25
  • I believe that it would be better to tackle this using a raster. Since you are not looking for a "network" and if you do not have harsh restriction of flying routes, rather you have flying zones - so you should treat the aerial space as a surface. Have a look on the distance toolset, and in particular on the cost-distance tool (found within the toolset) – dof1985 Aug 6 '15 at 23:08
  • If there's no restrictions on flying directly between all points, I'd be inclined to use best route as suggested by @mapBaker. Creating lines between all the points is a fairly trivial task, and if further points are added for future flights you just add lines for those points and run the analysis again. – Adam Aug 7 '15 at 0:07
  • I am having trouble creating lines between every point. I used the Point to Line tool in Arc but it does not create lines between all points. Is there a simple way to do this? Also, Is there a tool that identifies the "Next nearest point"? I was hoping there is something similar to "Near" tool in ArcGIS without referencing a point that has been used in the analysis already. – Ashleigh Aug 9 '15 at 15:55

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