Available with Business Analyst license.
Territory Indexes are built to improve the performance of territory creation and balancing for point and polygon alignment layers. Each Territory Index is built on-the-fly during the setting a Territory Solution process. The index works by searching for surrounding features in the alignment layer and saves their feature ID and the adjacent feature IDs in the index. The index is used to quickly grow territories to meet the specified parameters such as distance from territory centers or attribute capacity constraints. In simpler terms, each alignment layer polygon instantly understands which polygons are nearby and can build territories rapidly because processing intensive topology checks are no longer needed.
Territory Indexes are saved to the location where the alignment layer resides as *.tidx files. The Refresh Territory Design Solution command (Territory Design Menu > Common Tools) will reset the index or provide options to rebuild it.
With Territory Indexes for point-based alignment layers, you have the option to use a mask layer and/or a buffered distance because there are no common polygonal edges present. Or by default, a Thiessen polygon layer is created for all point-based alignment layers. A potential issue is that Thiessen polygons can grow to an undesirably large extent. Each Territory Solution with a point-based alignment layer should be treated differently with special consideration to the desired size and shape.
In the image below, a Territory Index has been created for points but has grown to the full extent of the map view. The large Thiessen polygons would be better served with either a mask layer (to limit the growth to state boundaries) or a cutoff distance (to limit the growth by a specified distance from each point) or both.
The image below shows an example of applying a Territory Index with a mask layer using a sample of 30 points. The Thiessen polygons are limited to the national boundary. This is better than the default unlimited extent but remains somewhat undesirable due to the large polygons moving east that fill the whole extent. Mask layers are often used to limit the polygons to the presence of water features, coastlines, or restricted areas.
Using the same points, a buffer can be applied, in this case, 50 miles from each point. These Thiessen polygons are more desirable for processing and visualization. A mask layer can be applied as well which will further alter the shape of the outermost boundaries. This is helpful when the points are near a coastline or on islands.
Using the same points again, the Territory Index is created without a mask or buffer checked; however, the map extent is used to limit the Thiessen polygons from extending to extreme distances. The image below is an ideal result.