Get started with Pipeline Referencing

Available with Location Referencing license.

ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing is an extension targeted at meeting the location referencing needs of the transmission pipeline industry. The extension provides capabilities to manage linear referencing system networks used to locate assets, characteristics, and other data on and around transmission pipeline networks. This is achieved by providing a linear referencing system (LRS) that evolves and extends the original set of LRS capabilities present in ArcGIS today.

Pipeline Referencing provides a GIS-enabled, linear referencing data management solution for pipeline organizations. It supports the following:

  • LRS information model
  • Network and event loading tools
  • Network editing
  • Event editing
  • Geoprocessing tools
  • Web services

Learn more about installation and licensing in ArcGIS Pro

LRS information model

To use Pipeline Referencing, you must have your data in the required information model in the geodatabase. Pipeline Referencing has an information model for linear referencing system (LRS) networks (routes) and a flexible information model for LRS events that allow you to model your own event feature classes.

Pipeline Referencing provides the ability to edit and maintain LRS networks and associated event data. It also supports updating event measures and route associations based on changes to an LRS Network.

Before using Pipeline Referencing tools, it is recommended that you read the information on the basic concepts behind the LRS network and LRS events information model. These concepts not only aid in understanding the data loading process, but also set the foundation for how to use the tools.

Utility and Pipeline Data Model (UPDM)

Esri also provides a data model called the UPDM, with predefined feature classes for events and features in the pipeline network. The UPDM linear referencing and event model is based on the information model used by Pipeline Referencing.

With Pipeline Referencing, you have the flexibility to define your own events data model or use the UPDM.

You can create the UPDM schema in a file geodatabase and load all the required data. Once the data is loaded, you can migrate your linear referencing system (LRS) to a multiuser geodatabase.

You can model your own LRS geodatabase using UPDM or an out-of-the-box data model, which requires you to create an LRS, create LRS events, and load event data using the Append Events tool using that model.


Modeling an LRS geodatabase is an involved process and recommended only for persons with experience.

Learn more about managing Pipeline Referencing and a Utility Network together

LRS network and event loading

The modeling, creation, and configuration of the LRS, networks, and events, including route and event loading, are managed in ArcGIS Pro using geoprocessing tools.

Learn more about creating the LRS, networks, and events

Use the Append Routes tool to load routes. With this tool, both continuous and engineering networks can be loaded.

Network loading

Use the Append Events tool to load events. With this tool, both event tables and event feature classes can be loaded.

Append Events tool

LRS network editing

To edit LRS networks, you must use the Location Referencing tab that is part of Pipeline Referencing. This tab supports editing the Pipeline Referencing information model elements used to build an LRS network. On this tab, you can create, realign, reassign, retire, extend, and cartographically realign routes. You can also edit calibration points and centerlines. You can't edit LRS route directions, but you can use these tools to apply edits to the LRS routes. The Location Referencing tab is context based; it is available only when you have Pipeline Referencing features for route editing (that is, routes, calibration points, and centerlines) added to your 2D map.

Network editing tools

Pipeline Referencing features (routes, events, calibration points, and intersections) are modeled to support time (they are time aware). If you are configuring maps for editing networks, it is recommended that you configure time support for each of these layers in the map.

Learn more about configuring time support

LRS event editing

Pipeline Referencing supports event editing through the ArcGIS Event Editor web app.

This web app is powered by Pipeline Referencing Server.

Event Editor web app

ArcGIS Event Editor has the following available features:

  • Route search—Locates routes on the map.
  • Attribute set—Defines groups of event layers and named attribute sets to provide attributes across multiple event layers in a single transaction for a given route and to and from measure pairs. The event layers can also be stored and referenced in different linear referencing methods (LRMs). ArcGIS Event Editor provides route and measure translations across LRMs.
  • Quality control checks—Runs quality control checks for a route to detect event data gaps, overlaps, and invalid measures. ArcGIS Event Editor then uses its editing capabilities to correct those errors.
  • Event data query and editing—Queries for event data by route association, ad-hoc queries, spatial intersecting geometry, or location proximity. You can visualize, browse, and bulk edit the tabular results.

LRS geoprocessing tools

Pipeline Referencing includes a suite of geoprocessing tools that support LRS data loading, processing, and transformations. These geoprocessing tools operate primarily against event feature classes.

Geoprocessing tools

LRS web services

Pipeline Referencing Server extends the ArcGIS Server map service to provide linear referencing capability to your data as REST services. These capabilities include the following:

  • Event editing
  • Translating coordinates to measures
  • Translating measures to coordinates
  • Translating between measures systems
  • Dynamically segmenting event layers
  • Detecting gaps, overlaps, and invalid measures on events

For more information about services and developing for services, refer to the following:

Quality control

Pipeline Referencing provides quality control (QC) checks for event data and the ArcGIS Event Editor web app. This allows your organization to continuously improve data quality and refine its pipeline data assets. In addition to these QC tools, you can also use ArcGIS Data Reviewer Desktop, which is an extension that checks for and manages data errors. Location Referencing Desktop includes Data Reviewer.

Learn more about Data Reviewer Desktop

Workflow management

Location Referencing Desktop includes ArcGIS Workflow Manager (Classic), which can be used to coordinate data management in GIS and across business units to develop a standard, repeatable process for LRS data management in your organization.

Learn more about ArcGIS Workflow Manager (Classic)