I'm beginning to familiarize myself with Geometric Networks in ArcGIS Desktop, and according to About Verify Network tools and commands, multi-part features are not allowed, but they do not explain why. What is it about multipart features that breaks a geometric network?

1 Answer 1


Imagine a geometric network where multipart lines were supported. When tracing such a line the trace might get to a gap between the parts and then much more complexity to the model is introduced.

For example, you could make it support jumping the gap but the direction on the other side of the gap may be reversed.

I would say that the benefits of supporting multi parts in geometric networks would be greatly outweighed by the software development and user training involved.

  • in my case, we're making a network out of open drains and culverts, where the culverts connect open drains, and culverts with x number of cells are shown as x number of lines connected to the open drains on either end with virtual drain lines. If I understand you correctly, if a culvert with multiple cells were a multipart geometry, the system wouldn't know which line to trace or whether to follow the lines in a zig-zag pattern, etc?
    – jesnes
    May 25, 2018 at 23:40
  • I won't claim to understand your requirement entirely but I think the answer to your comment question is Yes.
    – PolyGeo
    May 25, 2018 at 23:50

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