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Tutorial: Closest facility

Available with Network Analyst license.

Complexity: BeginnerData Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data for Desktop

The closest facility solver finds one or more facilities that are closest to an incident based on travel time or travel distance and outputs the best routes as driving directions between the incidents and the chosen facilities. In this tutorial, you'll use this tool to find the closest hospital to an accident. Finding a closest facility can be associated with a local network dataset or a network service hosted in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.

If you run the tutorial using ArcGIS Online, credits will be consumed.

Get the data

The data for this tutorial is available for download on

  1. Go to the item description web page of the Network Analyst tutorial data on
  2. Click the Download button, and save the file locally.
  3. Unzip the downloaded file.

Create a map

  1. Open ArcGIS Pro.
  2. Create a new project based on the Map.aptx template.

    A new project with a map appears.

Add the tutorial data to the project

A network dataset is an intelligent model of the road system. It contains not only the location and attributes of roads, but also information about how roads relate to one another, such as which roads are connected, which turns between connected roads are allowed or prohibited, and other information that affects what travel paths are possible and how long travel takes. The closest facility solver references the network dataset to determine nearby locations.

If you perform an analysis using ArcGIS Online, the solver references a high-quality, worldwide network dataset stored in the ArcGIS Online cloud and will use ArcGIS Online credits. If you're using your own data, no online credits are used, but you need to associate your network dataset with the project.

In this set of steps, add a network dataset to the map.

  1. In the Catalog pane, which is on the side of the application by default, right-click Folders and choose Add Folder Connection Add Folder Connection.

    The Add Folder Connection dialog box appears.

  2. Browse to the folder where you placed the tutorial data, double-click Network Analyst, and click Tutorial to select the folder.
  3. Click OK.

    A connection to the Tutorial folder is created.

  4. Next, add one of the network datasets contained within the folder to the map.

  5. In the Catalog pane, expand Folders > Tutorial > SanFrancisco.gdb > Transportation.
  6. Drag Streets_ND, which has a network dataset icon Network Dataset, onto the map.

    The network dataset is added to the Contents pane as well as to the map.

  7. Right-click Streets_ND in the Contents pane and choose Zoom To Layer Zoom To Layer to view the San Francisco area.

    By default, network datasets built with traffic data show traffic conditions for the current time when they are added to the map. This network dataset includes historical traffic, so you are seeing typical traffic conditions for the current time and day of the week. Not all roads in this network dataset include traffic, so only the ones that do are shown by default.

    The area covered by the network dataset is where you can perform network analyses.

    Viewing the network dataset isn't required to perform an analysis, so next, you will hide it.

  8. In the Contents pane, uncheck Streets_ND to display the basemap only.
  9. In the Catalog pane, browse to Tutorial > SanFrancisco.gdb > Analysis.
  10. Right-click the Hospitals layer and choose Add to Current MapAdd Data.

    The Hospitals layer is added to the Contents pane as well as to the map.


You can also add a layer to the map by dragging it from the Catalog pane onto the map.

Create the closest facility layer

The closest facility analysis layer stores all the inputs, parameters, and results of a closest facility analysis.

  1. On the Analysis tab, in the Tools group, click Network Analysis > Closest Facility Closest Facility.

    The Closest Facility layer is added to the Contents pane. It includes several sublayers that hold the inputs and outputs of the analysis.

    The Closest Facility layer references the San Francisco network dataset because the network was in the Contents pane when the layer was created.

    To see or change the network data source that will be used to create the network analysis layer, on the Analysis tab, in the Tools group, you can click the Network Analysis drop-down and look under Network Data Source.
  2. In the Contents pane, click Closest Facility to select the group layer.

    The Closest Facility tab appears in the Network Analyst group at the top of ArcGIS Pro.

  3. Click Closest Facility to see the tab's controls.
    Closest Facility tab

    You'll use these controls to define the closest facility results you want to generate.


    The Closest Facility tab appears only when you select a closest facility layer in the Contents pane. Also, if you have multiple closest facility layers present, they each have their own tab.

Add facilities

You'll use the Hospitals feature class to load the Facilities sublayer network analysis class.

  1. On the Closest Facility tab, in the Input Data group, click Import Facilities Import Facilities.

    The Geoprocessing pane appears showing the Add Locations tool. Add Locations loads features into a network analysis layer, such as a closest facility layer. The tool can load the points that represent the hospitals into the Facilities sublayer.

  2. Make sure Input Network Analysis Layer is set to Closest Facility and Sub Layer is set to Facilities.
  3. Click the drop-down menu below Input Locations and choose Hospitals. This is the point feature class you previously added to the map.
  4. Leave the default settings for the rest of the tool parameters and click the Run button Run at the bottom of the Geoprocessing pane.

    Run button on Add Locations

    A total number of 22 hospitals load as facilities.

Add an incident

Consider an accident site as an incident. The closest facility solver finds one or more hospitals that are closest to the accident location.

You could use a feature class of existing incidents for your analysis by clicking the Import Incidents button Import Incidents; however, in this exercise, you'll draw your incident directly on the map.

  1. On the Edit tab, click the Create button Create Features .

    The Create Features pane appears, showing a list of layers that can be edited.

  2. Under Closest Facility:Incidents, click Incidents.
  3. Select the Point tool Point to create an incident on the map in the area covered by the network dataset.
  4. On the Map tab, click the Locate button Locate.

    The Locate pane appears.

  5. Now you'll geocode an address to be the location of the incident.
  6. In the Locate text-box, type 2350 Pine St, San Francisco and press Enter.

    A list of addresses appears in the Locate pane.

  7. Right-click the first address and select Add to Feature Class from the context-menu.

    The address is added to the Incidents sublayer of the Closest Facility analysis layer.

Set up properties for the closest facility analysis

The Closest Facility ribbon includes a Travel Settings section, where you can specify properties for the analysis.

  1. On the Closest Facility tab, in the Travel Settings group, for the Facilities text box, increase the value to 3.

    The closest facility solver will search for a maximum of three hospitals from the accident site.

  2. In the Cutoff text box, type 2.

    The closest facility solver will look for hospitals that can be reached within 2 minutes from the incident site. Hospitals outside the cutoff time are ignored. Since the current impedance is TravelTime, the units are in minutes.

  3. From the Directions drop-down list, select Towards Facilities.

Run the process to identify the closest facilities

  1. On the Closest Facility tab, click Run Run.

    Run button on the Closest Facility tab

    When the solve process is complete, routes appear in the map display and in the Routes sublayer of the Closest Facility group layer.

  2. On the Closest Facility tab, in the Report group, click Directions.

    The Directions pane appears with the driving directions from the accident site to three hospitals that the closest facility solver has determined to be the closest.