I am trying to replicate a GIS exercise that Donaldson& Hornbeck (2016) did for their paper “RAILROADS AND AMERICAN ECONOMIC GROWTH: A ‘MARKET ACCESS’ APPROACH”. As a part of data construction, they created multiple point-to-point connections on water bodies what allows all possible routes. These routes can only originate from certain points/harbors on land.

I want to create same routes for my project. However, I do not know of a tool or method on ArcGIS to construct such routes. I am attaching a screenshot of those routes on ArcGIS. I am attaching a screenshot of those routes on ArcGIS.

Additional notes from the paper:

Their data description is: “Multiple point-to-point connections throughout the Great Lakes and Oceans”. On data creation, they just mention that they “Created manually to effectively saturate area”.

In the main text they explain this as following: “For lakes and oceans, we saturate their area with ‘‘rivers’’ that allow for a large number of possible routes.”

And as a footnote this text, they have: “We do not permit direct access to lakes and oceans at all points along the coast; rather, we restrict access to ‘‘harbors’’ where the coast intersects interior waterways.“

  • dave-donaldson.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/… "s. Hand-traced railroad lines often contain small internal gaps that we have ‘‘snapped’’ together" so basic topology tools are in arcgis desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/manage-data/… (Standard or Advanced License required).
    – Mapperz
    Jun 20 at 15:13
  • Thank you for point out the topology tools, this looks helpful for other exercises as well. I am still unsure about how to get those lines in my question. I was thinking to create random points on water bodies (in additional to existing ports/harbors) and connect them all with lines. I can then use the topology tools to make them follow certain set of rules.
    – skall411
    Jun 21 at 7:56


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