I am working with a data set of points placed on either side of a given road, containing different attribution (forest, height, etc).

I need to be able to calculate the differences between the attribute on each side of the road at specific locations.

Is there a tool in ArcGIS 10.1 that can perform this operation, or are there any suggestions on algorithms, tools, scripts I could use?

  • Picture/extract of points position relative to each other and road might help please
    – FelixIP
    Nov 19, 2015 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


This is best solved using Linear Referencing tools. First make your road or road network into a new LR Routes feature class using the Create Route tool. Then use the Locate Features Along Route tool with a tolerance large enough to deal with the offset of your points from the road and check the box to generate a distance field.

The distance field will contain the offset distance of the point and can be used to determine which side of the road a point falls on. The distance will normally be positive for points on the right side and negative for points on the left side. However, for some reason if you generate an angle field in your event layer the sides will flip. To correct that you need to use the "Right side of the route" option under the Advanced Option when you set up an event layer to make them display correctly).

The measure values of the events would show you the set of points that are closest to each other on the road from both sides. You can use the measures to determine offset distances following the road centerline between the points without considering any side offset.

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