I have the task to find out what is necessary to build a routing application using ArcGIS Server. I am not a GIS beginner, but have had no experience with ArcGIS Server. As this project is at the "ideas" stage, I would like to start my research here by asking if anyone could give me some guidelines regarding what would be a sensible way to start a routing project using primarily (but not necessarily limited to) ESRI Software. Which extentions? What type/quality of data? Planning tips? Which organisations etc etc?


2 Answers 2


I would say Google Maps JavaScript API V3 is a good option for creating a web-based routing application.

You can calculate the directions by using the DirectionsService object. This object communicates with the Google Maps API Directions Service which receives direction requests and returns computed results. I believe most of us have done the similar request million times by using Google Map. However, we can build our own customized web-based routing application by using Google Maps JavaScript API V3. Here are some simple examples:

I must acknowledge that both ArcGIS Network Analyst and Google Map API's Direction Service are great solutions. However, unlike most of ArcGIS products, Google Maps JavaScript API is nearly for free.

In terms of type of data, you can specify your origin and destination either as text strings (e.g. "Chicago, IL" or "Darwin, NSW, Australia") or as LatLng values. And the routing result could be displayed as a polyline drawing the route on a map. That means a table with list of pairs of A and B information can be used as input data.

However, all of those are based on one assumption that you are somewhat familiar with html and JavaScript. If you do not have have any experience or knowledge on these languages, then you might need to consider ArcGIS Network Analyst Extension.


Have a look at the ArcGIS Tracking Server and Tracking Analyst.
These should do a decent job of showing your real-time data onto a map.

As fas as the data is considered, I think it should conform to the requirements for the above products. I do not have much insight into that area.

  • 2
    How does Tracking Analyst help with routing?
    – Petr Krebs
    Commented Jan 16, 2013 at 21:44
  • Oops...blunder alert!
    – ujjwalesri
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 0:58
  • 1
    Not sure what I was thinking while answering this, but my answer is definitely incorrect. Apologies people! Network Analyst is suited for routing, not Tracking Analyst.
    – ujjwalesri
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 1:00

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