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Converting GIS shapefile to a road network

If you are creating a road traffic model of some existing road network, you can go without drawing all the roads and intersections manually using road space markup shapes. Instead of this, you can simply find the GIS shapefile with the data on the existing roads, and convert this shapefile data to AnyLogic road space markup shapes. The road network will be drawn automatically, and you will have just to make few adjustments (change the road network’s Lane width, number of forward and backward lanes of individual roads, etc.).

To convert GIS shapefile data to AnyLogic road network shapes

  1. Drag the  GIS Map element from the GIS section of the  Space Markup palette into the graphical editor.
    You can add GIS map only on the diagram that does not contain any road space markup shapes yet.
  2. You can use your own files, or find them on the web. We will demonstrate the feature by downloading and converting Toulouse shapefile from Download the data files as a ZIP archive and extract them to some folder.
  3. Expand the Shapefiles section of the GIS map’s properties. Set this GIS map to use the downloaded shapefile. Add a shapefile (with file extension .shp) by clicking the button.

  4. This opens the Open dialog box. Browse to the file you have downloaded, select it and click Open. The GIS map will show the file data, and the shapefiles will be copied to the model folder.
  5. To get the space markup elements with meaningful names (and not just randomly named like road145, road146), you should specify what column of the shapefile contains the names of the items. In the Shapefile section of GIS map properties, specify the index of the shapefile’s name column in the Name column index field. To know the index of the name column, use third-party shapefile editors.

  6. Zoom in to the required part of the road network. It is very important to avoid converting numerous roads that you really do not need in your model. Zoom in the GIS map until you see all the roads you need to consider in your model.
  7. Right-click the GIS map and choose Convert Shapefile to Space Markup from the context menu.

  8. In the Convert Shapefile to Space Markup dialog box, select Roads in the Convert to list. Configure other options, and finally click OK.

  9. Confirm the action in next dialog boxes.

The conversion may take a relatively long time. Finally the GIS map will be substituted with the image. On top of this image you will see the road network composed of AnyLogic’s roads and intersections (see the figure below).

All drawn roads are two-way. Each road has two forward lanes and two backward lanes. You need to modify the road attributes by yourself. Data on road speed limits etc. is neither read nor used by AnyLogic’s road network.

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