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What are network attributes?

Network attributes are properties of the network elements that control traversability over the network. Examples of attributes include the time to travel a given length of road, which streets are restricted for which vehicles, the posted speeds along a given road, and one-way streets. Network attributes consist of costs, restrictions, descriptors, hierarchy, and time zone.

Network attributes

Network attributes have the following properties: Name, Units, Data Type, and Usage Type. Additionally, they have a set of assignments defining the values for the elements as follows:

  • Units of a cost attribute are either distance or time units (for example, centimeters, meters, miles, minutes, and seconds). When the cost attribute is some other unit (for example, dollars, pounds of CO2, or kilowatt hour), Unknown Units is used.
  • The data type can be Boolean, integer, float, or double. Cost attributes cannot be a Boolean data type. Restrictions are always Boolean, and hierarchy and time zone attributes are always integer.
  • When a network attribute is selected, the information about the travel modes that are using it is displayed as Used By Travel Modes. However, when the selected attribute is not used by any travel mode, this item is not displayed.

  • A network attribute can also be used to calculate the value of another attribute. In this case, a Used By Attributes message displays the names of other attributes that depend on the currently selected network attribute.

Network attributes can be created by accessing the Travel Attributes page on the Network Dataset Properties dialog box. To create network attributes, define the name of the attribute and its usage, units, and data type.

Next, assign evaluators for each source that will provide the values for the network attribute.Learn more about types of evaluators used by a network

Network attributes can also have parameters that can be used by their evaluators. Parameters allow dynamic analysis with network attributes by modeling such characteristics as truck height or weight, weather factors, or current speeds. Restriction attributes always have a parameter named Restriction Usage.

Learn more about using parameters with network attributes

Network attributes can also be edited to accommodate any changes you might want to make to the properties to suit your analysis.


The best practice for editing network attributes in a network dataset is in a project which does not involve layers that use the network dataset. Some editing might get blocked on the network dataset properties dialog box if there are layers in the project that uses this network dataset. It is therefore recommended to create a blank project, add connection to the geodatabase that contains the network dataset, and make edits in this project. When the layers using this network dataset are opened in an ArcGIS Pro session, you won't be able to add, delete, or rename a cost or a restriction attribute. This is to ensure the network dataset schema updates succeed and that the layers using it are initialized properly when opened.

Access network attributes

Follow the steps below to access the network attributes from the Network Dataset Properties dialog box.

  1. In the Catalog pane, browse to the folder location where you placed the network dataset.
  2. Right-click the network dataset Network Dataset and choose Properties from the context menu. The Network Dataset Properties dialog box appears.
  3. Click Travel Attributes. Three tabs—Travel Modes, Costs, and Restrictions—appear.

Learn more about travel modes, costs, and restrictions.