I am looking to merge two network datasets in ArcGIS 10.0. I have an ArcInfo license and have trawled this forum but am looking for some clarification. I want to merge two road networks but only make changes to one of the datasets. The two tools I have been investigating are Integrate and Spatial Adjustment.

From this post:

Advise with 'Integrate' tool in ArcToolbox

It seems that Integrate actually changes both datasets. Is it possible to weight one dataset so high that it does not change?

Secondly, there doesn't seem to be a way to bulk create links to spatial adjust a very very large network. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thank you all in advance,



2 Answers 2


Integrate does not allow you to only move one dataset. Despite any weighting you do, in some situations one dataset will eventually move.

One way of getting around this is to set an aggressive threshold distance for the integrate, then use the spatial join tool with the 'join at line segments' option to spatially join the two road networks. Before you begin, ensure that you have a backup of both datasets, and that the dataset you want consider the primary one has an ID or primary key field, like FID or OBJECTID.

Because of the integrate, all the line segments that somewhat overlap should now share at last two vertices, allowing the spatial join by segments to work correctly.

Once the two datasets that have been integrated have been spatially joined by line segments, you should then have an output dataset that contains the attributes of both datasets, but the geometry was probably mangled by the integrate. However, the dataset that you didn't want to move should have an ID field that was not changed by any of the preceding processes. You can then take the dataset you just created, and the ID field that it contains from the original dataset, and join that by attributes (the ID field) back to the backup, unaltered, version of your primary dataset.

  • Hi @DPierce, I have been testing various methods out and the final step seems a bit unclear. I have two network datasets, one which is the original, and another which is spatially adjusted. How can I spatially link both using attribute fields?
    – Kel196
    Jan 22, 2013 at 11:02
  • See edits in original answer.
    – DPierce
    Jan 22, 2013 at 14:16
  • Thank you for the quick response, it almost works but it still doesn't quite manage to do what I am aiming to do. Perhaps this diagram helps? i21.photobucket.com/albums/b259/acidburn942/…
    – Kel196
    Jan 22, 2013 at 14:46
  • Is your data topologically clean? That is, is the geometry fairly clean, such as intersections share the same node, etc.? The method I presented works best for transferring attributes, but if you want to merge different geometries, it may take some additional steps.
    – DPierce
    Jan 22, 2013 at 16:32

It seems as though you are looking to Conflate your data. No easy way using ArcGIS (no matter the license level). There are some open source tools out there that help with this, but none of them are very robust or complete. I have experience with ESEA's MapMerger tool which provides automatic conflation of disparate datasources. It functions as an ArcGIS extension through version 10.1.

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