I am not exactly sure on how to describe what I am trying to do so hopefully this picture will help. What I am trying to figure out: I have a point and from that point I have, walking paths from that point. Say I want to know how far a half mile is on the paths, Is there a a method or tool that will aid me in this? By just doing a 1/2 mile buffer on the point does not achieve what I want since the paths are not straight lines. I hope what I trying to do is clear enoughenter image description here

3 Answers 3


You can use the Make Route Event Layer tool in the Linear Referencing toolbox in ArcGIS.

First make sure your lines are measured routes created the correct direction, with the start point of each route beginning at the point you are interested in.

Then create an event table that contains the unique ID from each route along with the distance you want the point to be located at along each route. You can then use this table and the route file as inputs to the Make Route Event Layer tool. This will place points at the routes/locations you identified in the table.

Once this is set up, you can change the distance values in the input table and the points will be re-positioned on-the-fly. To make a permanent point file just export the points to a feature class.


If you have the Network Analyst extension within ArcGIS, you should be able to get what you want using the Service Area tool.

  • Yes that would be useful.. I forgot to mention that I have arcInfo but I do not have the network analyst extension :( Oct 17, 2013 at 13:56

In QGIS the Road Graph plugin may be able to help you.


In PostGIS pgRouting can add network analysis support to a PostGIS database


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