Find Nearest Tool

Identify the shortest distance between spatial objects in one file and the objects in a second file.

Applications include finding the closest store locations to consumers in the customer file (both point files); identifying the closest cell towers (point files) to LATAs (polygon files); or selecting congressional districts (polygon files) within 50 miles of a major thoroughfare (line file).

A Universe input connection into this tool is optional, as this file can be specified with an input path.

If using DriveTime, see Guzzler Drivetime Methodology for more information.

Configure the tool

The Find Nearest Point tool accepts two spatial inputs.

  1. Select the Spatial Object Field to use for the Targets (T Input). Any object type can be chosen for the Target, but if it is a not a point type object, the centroid is used for analysis.
  2. Specify the Universe object. There are two choices:
    • Use Records from U Input: Select the Spatial Object field from the data going into the tool.
    • Use Records from Data Source: When reading in spatial objects from a data source, make sure the data source that is being brought in has already been sorted on the spatial object. Ensure no connection is going into the U input.
      1. To specify the input data source, either enter the file path location of the input or browse to the data source's location.
      2. Select the Spatial Object Field from the input data source to calculate the nearest distance to.
  3. How many nearest points to find?: Specify how many nearest Universe objects to find for each Target. The default is 1.
  4. The Find Nearest tool can return more records than selected in the “How many nearest points to find?” field if there are multiple records in Universe the same distance from the Target object.

  5. Set the Maximum Distance and units of measure these objects can be from the Target.
  6. If Drive time is to be calculated, the user can specify the dataset they wish to use to calculate this figure. If only one dataset is installed, you will not have the option to select another dataset.

    You can specify the default dataset from User Settings. Go to Options > User Settings > Edit User Settings and click the Dataset Defaults tab.

  7. Choose whether or not to Ignore 0 Distance Matches. When checked, a point never matches to itself. If you are expecting the same number of input records as output records, ensure you do not have any duplicates in your data stream.
  8. Use the table to modify the incoming data stream. Each row in the table represents a column in the data.