I just read this post, which has an example shapefile with A and B node fields on each line feature class, from which to then define a Cube.net. http://community.citilabs.com/t/how-to-create-a-network-from-shapefile/373
So being not that good at ArcGIS, the next question is how to create such a shapefile in ArcGIS? Seems like the best way might be to create a point file with the nodes, then a line file that the nodes will connect to, and maybe then a spatial join to get the node ID onto the line file? What is the best way to get A and B onto a line shapefile?
Also the example doesn't result in zone centroids being connected to the output network. Is that something I must do manually? Or is there some way to have it automatically create zone centroids and connect them to the most logical nodes?
Creating a network from a shapefile is useful if you have a shapefile already. If you don't then you can go straight to a .net file (note that it is possible to find shapefiles for most places by googling or asking your GIS team if you have one). To create a .NET network requires a node file with Node number, X(coordinate), Y(coordinate) information, and a link file with A node number, B node number, then any link attributes for that particular link.
If you have a zone boundary file then centroids can be created automatically else again you'll need x and y coordinates of your zones (same as Node file). Centroids and their connectors can be created automatically when you open a network and look under the 'node' tab.
Ok, so I do have a shapefile, and I think the best way to convert it to .net is to first make a point file which represent each node (intersections, as well as centroid connection locations), then make sure the would-be links in my centerline file have endpoints that match up with the nodes in my point file. Then give the nodes the integer IDs that will become the A and B on each link, and then do the "how to create .net from .shp" process noted above. I have been trying to do that, but one problem I ran into was that my centerline file and point file were not in the same projection (so watch out for that, others who might be reading). I also appreciate your advice on how to automatically create zone centroids from a TAZ polygon file.