Trace results

Results from a trace operation are returned as either a selection set or as multipart features in a feature class for the appropriate network features. Results from a trace include any features meeting the tracing criteria between a starting point or subnetwork controller and a barrier or the end of a path (no more connected features).

When working with nonspatial objects, keep the following in mind:
  • Trace results may be impacted if editing tools are active when executing a trace. For example, if the Move tool is active when executing a trace, the results do not include junction and edge objects.
  • The count of selected features in the lower corner of the map displays only features selected on the active map. This count does not include selected junction and edge objects.

The criteria of a trace are controlled by the subnetwork trace configuration and can be altered using the Trace tool. Trace configurations on the Trace tool allow you to control the type of features returned in the results based on network attributes, asset group and asset types, and association roles. To learn more, see Configure a trace.

When a line feature is traced and returned, the entire line is returned by default in a selection set. When nonspatial edge or junction objects are returned in the trace result, the corresponding row in the object's table is selected. The Result Types option Aggregate Geometry can be specified to return partial feature results in an output multipart geometry class.

If a feature with terminals is traced, the entire feature is returned. In a source-based network, for example, a subnetwork controller trace is run on a radial distribution subnetwork. The trace travels from the starting point all the way up to the subnetwork controller terminal on a feature, for example, a circuit breaker device. The circuit breaker has two terminals, one to model the logical connection to the source power (transmission), and one to model the delivery of that power (distribution). Although only the terminal that delivers power is traced, the entire point is returned as a selected point feature.


Summaries support apportionable results, for example, calculating the length of part of a pipe (a single line element). To learn more, see Subnetwork trace configuration.

The results of a trace are not guaranteed to be consistent if dirty areas are present in the traceable area. Use the Validate Consistency check box on the Trace tool to check for dirty areas before the trace is executed. When this check box is checked and dirty areas are present in the traceable area, the Trace tool will fail and return an error. This check box is checked by default. It is recommended that you execute traces with validate consistency enabled. To learn more, see Ensure network consistency.

Tools are provided to transfer the selected features in a result from a trace to another map or diagram view. The Apply To Maps tool is used to propagate the selection set in a map view to another map view; the same features selected on the parent map become selected on the child map. The Apply To Diagrams tool is used to propagate the selection set in a map view to a diagram view. To learn more, see Propagate trace results.