Trace a subnetwork

Discover all the features participating in a subnetwork using the Trace geoprocessing tool with the Subnetwork trace type.

To learn more, see Utility network trace types.


To perform a subnetwork trace, the following requirements must be met:

  • When working with an enterprise geodatabase, the Input Utility Network parameter must be from a utility network service.
  • The network topology must be enabled.
  • The subnetwork has one or more subnetwork controllers.
  • A starting point for the trace must be specified by using one of the following:
    • One or more starting points.
    • Select a subnetwork using the Subnetwork Name parameter.

Trace a subnetwork

  1. Ensure the utility network is available in an active map view and click the Data tab under Utility Network on the ribbon.
    Utility Network contextual tab set

    The Utility Network Data tab is activated.

  2. Optionally, set starting points and barriers in the map view. In the Tools group, click the Trace Locations command to open the Trace Locations pane. See Set starting points and barriers for more information.

    For Subnetwork traces, starting points must be set only if a Subnetwork Name parameter is not specified in the Trace tool.

  3. On the Data tab, in the Tools group, click Subnetwork in the tools gallery.
    Tools group

    The Trace tool opens for the utility network in the active map using the specific Trace Type.

  4. For the Domain Network parameter, choose the domain network where you want to start the trace.
  5. To refine the traceable area, specify a tier for the Tier parameter.
    Trace configuration is loaded into the tool based on the Tier Definition.
  6. If a starting point was not set, choose the Subnetwork Name you want to trace.

    When the Subnetwork Name parameter is specified, the subnetwork controller or controllers for that subnetwork are used and any starting points set within the Trace Locations pane are ignored. The feature representing the subnetwork from the SubnetLine feature class is also returned in the trace results if no output filters are specified.

  7. Apply additional configuration parameters as needed. Reference the Trace tool for a full list of tool parameters. Also see Configure a trace.
  8. Click Run.

Features participating in the specified subnetwork are returned as a selection set. A feature may belong to multiple subnetworks, such as a tie switch in an electrical network. If a subnetwork controller is not present or not connected to the specified subnetwork, an error message is returned and the trace fails.