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.

Perform a subnetwork trace

To perform a subnetwork trace, complete the following steps:

  1. Ensure the utility network is available in an active map view and click the Utility Network tab.
    Utility Network tab

    The Utility Network tab is activated.

  2. Optionally, set starting points and barriers in the map view. In the Tools group, click the Trace command to open the Trace 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 Utility Network 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 as starting points for the trace, and the Starting Points parameter is ignored. The feature representing the subnetwork in 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.