What’s New in ArcGIS Routing Services

With the latest update to ArcGIS Online, Esri has brought some great new capabilities to routing services. Here are the updates that will be highlighted in this blog:

For the comprehensive guide to the routing services updates in each ArcGIS Online release, see What’s new in the routing services in the product documentation.

New synchronous Origin Destination Cost Matrix REST API 

With the latest update to ArcGIS Onlinethe routing services support a new REST API that allows you to solve aOrigin Destination Cost Matrix (OD Cost Matrix) problem synchronously. Asynchronous OD Cost Matrix API has been available to calculate travel distance and time between a large number of origins and destination (maximum of 1000 origins and 1000 destinations). The new synchronous API is designed to calculate travel distance and time between a small number of origins and destinations (maximum of 10 origins and 10 destinations). One benefit of using the new synchronous API is better performance for solving small size problems.

The new API is intended for, but not limited to, the below scenarios.

1. Calculate Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) 

With the vehicle’s current location as an origin and customer’s location as destination, using the synchronous OD Cost Matrix service will calculate the ETA to arrive at customer’s location. This is similar to generating a route between the two locations with no shape or directions. But using this approach will consume fewer credits.

A sample rest request to solve this problem should resemble as below (I use decoded URL here, so it is easier to understand):

The request response should resemble as below: 

The costs from origin to destination are in the order defined in the costAttributeNames, so we know from this response thatthe ETA at destination is about 73 minutes from now. And the destination is about 63 miles away from the origin.

2. Calculate travel time and distance between a few locations 

Find the travel time and distance between all origins to all destinations. The output matrix will include the time and distance from all origins to all destinations (unless a cutoff is specified). This is useful for trip tables to quickly lookup the travel time and distance from one location to another. It is also useful if you just need costs between locations because you have your own algorithm for sequencing traveling between all of them.

A sample rest request to solve this problem should resemble as below:

 The request response should resemble as below: 

Since San Diego corresponds to ObjectID 1 and Los Angeles corresponds to ObjectID 2 in the inputs, so from the response, we know it takes about 147 minutes to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles, and about 145 minutes to drive from Los Angeles to San Diego.

Explore the new REST API to learn how it will solve your routing problems. In the upcoming release of ArcGIS API for Python 1.8.3, you will be able to consume the synchronous OD Cost Matrix REST API.

Support “now” as start time or end time for all synchronous routing services 

The synchronous routing services support an easy way to use the current time when finding routesThe way to specify that the analysis starts or ends at “now” is to pass the string “now” to startTime or timeOfDay parameter to the synchronous routing services. The first example in the synchronous OD Cost Matrix part of this blog shows how to pass “now” to timeOfDay parameter of the synchronous OD Cost Matrix service.

Here is the list of synchronous routing services and their respective parameter that supports “now”.

If your analysis needs to consider live road conditions and traffic, you can pass “now” to the synchronous routing services, and it will use live traffic to give you the most accurate result.


All the new capabilities mentioned above are also supported with routing services in ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8.1 release. Here are some resources to learn more about them in ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8.1.

About the author

Max is a Product Engineer on Network Analyst team, focusing on Routing Services in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise.

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