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Building a geometric network from existing simple feature classes(ArcInfo and ArcEditor only)

Release 9.3
Last modified July 14, 2009
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About building a geometric network from existing simple feature classes

NOTE: Although geometric networks can be both created and edited in ArcInfo and ArcEditor, they are read-only in ArcView.

An alternative to creating and populating an empty geometric network is to build a geometric network from existing simple feature classes.

The Build Geometric Network wizard discovers the connectivity for a group of feature classes in a feature dataset and promotes them from simple feature types (lines and points) to network feature types (edges and junctions).

When you build a geometric network, the feature classes must already exist in the feature dataset. However, they can be empty. After the network has been built, you can add new network feature classes.

Geometric networks are built in ArcCatalog.
Learn more about a geometric network's components.

How to build a geometric network from existing simple feature classes

  1. Right-click the feature dataset that will contain the network.
  2. Point to New.
  3. Click Geometric Network.
  4. Read the information on the first panel and click Next.
  5. Click the first option to build a geometric network from existing features.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click the feature classes that you want to include in this geometric network.
  8. Type a name for the new geometric network.
  9. Click Next.
  10. If any of the feature classes selected to participate in the network contain an enabled field, you can choose to keep the enabled values or reset them to true. Click No to enable all network features. Otherwise, Persist enabled values is selected by default.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Click Yes if you want some of the input line feature classes to become complex edges. Otherwise, skip to step 14.
  13. Check the line feature classes that you want to become complex edges. Those that are not checked will become simple edges.
  14. Click Next.
  15. Click Yes if you want features in some of the input feature classes to be automatically adjusted and snapped during the network building process. Otherwise, skip to step 18.
  16. Type a snapping tolerance if you don't want to use the default tolerance.
  17. Check the feature classes whose features you want automatically adjusted and snapped. Feature classes that aren't selected are not adjusted.
  18. Click Next.
  19. Click Yes if you want features in some of your junction feature classes to be able to act as sources or sinks. Otherwise, skip to step 21.
  20. Check those junction feature classes in which you want to store sources and sinks.
  21. Click Next.
  22. Click Yes if you want to add weights to your network. Otherwise, click Next and skip to step 32.
  23. To add a new weight, click the New button.
  24. Type a name for the new weight, click the drop-down arrow, then click a weight type.
  25. Repeat steps 23 and 24 until all the network's weights have been defined.
  26. Click Next.
  27. If you added weights, you can assign these weights to specific fields in each feature class.
  28. Click the drop-down arrow and click the network weight to which you will assign an attribute.
  29. Click the drop-down arrow and click the field you want associated with this weight.
  30. Repeat step 29 for each feature class that you want to associate with this weight.
  31. Repeat steps 28 through 30 until you are finished associating network weights with feature class attributes.
  32. Click Next.
  33. If your geodatabase is stored in an ArcSDE database and you have a configuration keyword for the network storage, click Yes and choose the keyword from the drop-down menu. If not, skip to step 35.
  34. Click Next.
  35. Review the options you specified for your new network. If you want to change something, you can go back through the wizard by clicking the Back button.
  36. When satisfied with your options, click Finish to create the new geometric network.


  • When building a geometric network from simple feature classes in an ArcSDE geodatabase, the input feature classes can't be versioned.
  • All network feature classes require a short integer field named Enabled to record whether a feature is enabled or disabled in the logical network. The Network Building wizard will automatically add this field to your input feature classes.
  • When you build a geometric network from existing simple feature classes, the line feature classes become simple edges by default. However, you can specify that you want some of the line feature classes to be complex edges in the geometric network.
  • Network weights apply to all elements in the network. You can assign which weights are associated with which field on each feature class when you create the network feature class. You can add new weights after creating a geometric network; however, weights cannot be deleted after creating your geometric network.
  • Learn more about the features of a geometric network.
  • At any time during the building process, you can abort by clicking Abort on the Progress dialog box. When you abort building, the system deletes any network tables created and sets the database to the state before the building process started. If snapping was already complete, that change is permanent and won't be restored.
  • The geometric network builder can automatically adjust features in the input feature classes to correctly snap to connecting features. The default snapping tolerance is the XY tolerance of the feature dataset's spatial reference. If snapping, you cannot use a value smaller than the default. Large snapping tolerances may cause unanticipated results. For best results, examine your data and provide a more appropriate tolerance. Snapping (geometry changes) cannot be undone.
  • If you specify that you want to store sources and sinks in a junction feature class, the AncillaryRole field will automatically be added to the feature class.
  • You'll be notified of the building progress with a series of progress bars indicating the progress of each step along the way.
  • Geometric networks can be created from feature classes that support z-values; however, if one feature class in a geometric network supports z-values, then all the feature classes in the network must support them. When this condition is met, the network building process will create the orphan junction feature class as z aware and assign orphan junction features with a z-value that is equal to the coincident vertices to which it is connected. If a junction feature, whether orphan or user-defined, is coincident with edge vertices that have different z-values, the junction feature will be flagged as a building error and a record will be entered into the network build errors table. The z-values of features will have no bearing on how connectivity is determined during network building or editing.

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