I would like to calculate distances on network between demand nodes (points) and transportation network (line) in ArcGIS.

I basically calculated the central features of my building data (1,5M feaures) in considered district zones (85 zones). Now i have 85 central node. I also the highway network.

I know i can calculate the distance if i use the euclidean distance tool. However, for representing the real walking distance, i need to find the real walking distances on the network.

What i want to do is calculate these demand node points' rectilinear distances on network instead of euclidean distances. I need only one distance value for a demand center to a highway line.

What should i do?

  • As a relatively new user be sure to take the Tour to learn about our focussed Q&A format. I recommend not thinking about GIS SE as being some sort of online GIS tutor. For your questions to be answered here they should as much as possible describe not just what you want to do, but precisely what you have tried and where you are stuck trying that. I think the inclusion of a picture might help your question too.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


Using your network data you need to build a network dataset by using network analyst tool in ArcGIS. Network dataset will include all rules regarding your network (e.g. speed limits, turn limits, height limits, walking only routes, bycyle only routes etc.). After you've build this dataset you can use Network Analyst's OD Cost Matrix tool to calculate distances from Origin Locations to Destination Locations.

A complete tutorial to build network dataset and run analysis can be found here: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/pdf/network-analyst-tutorial.pdf

  • Dear Anil, thank you for your answer. I have already created my network data set. The problem here is my origin nodes are determined; however, the destinations are uncertain. Destination node can be anywhere on the line of highway. Thus OD Cost Matrix cannot solve my problem. How can i perform network analyst to determine uncertain target locations?
    – ionden
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 7:47
  • Do you want to find closest walking distance to the nearest highway exit? Or can it be anywhere on the highway? What's your problem here? Do you want to find best places to build pedestrian bridges / underways etc? Can you share a screenshot of your data?
    – Celik A
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 6:10

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