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About building a composite address locator
Geocoding and address management
Additional geocoding techniques
The building of a composite address locator consists of six steps: create individual address locators; open the New Composite Address Locator dialog box and specify a name, description, and the participating address locators; specify the input address fields; specify the selection criteria (optional); specify the map address fields; and specify your output options.
NOTE: Although a composite address locator can contain a participating address locator that resides in ArcSDE, composite address locators work in ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, and ArcGIS Server only. Creating or copying a composite address locator onto an ArcSDE database connection is not supported.
NOTE: Creating a composite address locator using the Create Address Locator geoprocessing tool is not supported.
Create individual address locators
To build a composite address locator, you begin with preexisting standard address locators. While in the initial phases of building your composite address locator, you should plan your search process. For example, you can search an address locator containing local road data first; then, if no satisfactory results appear, you can have the address searched by an address locator containing statewide or national roads. Finally, you may want to use an address locator that will search for a specific zone such as postal code or city.
Open the New Composite Address Locator dialog box
Learn more about creating address locators.
Just as you would when creating any other address locator, you need to open the Create New Address Locator dialog box using ArcCatalog to create a composite address locator. On the list of available address locator styles, you will find Composite. By selecting this option, the New Composite Address Locator dialog box will open so you can specify a name and description.
Specify the input address fields
At this time, you will also want to specify the participating address locators. Note that the order in which the participating address locators are listed is the order in which they will be used to find an address. This is of particular importance when batch matching. Once an acceptable match score is found, the geocoding process ends. If you listed your postal code locator first, a matching postal code would return a high match score, and the geocoding process would be concluded for that address. However, if you listed your local roads address locator first, this address locator would be used first, followed by those locators that might not return as accurate a response.
Learn more about batch matching.
Each standard address locator has a predefined list of possible and required address fields that are used in the search. However, with a composite address locator, you can specify the input address fields and whether they are required or optional. These fields will appear on the Find dialog box and need to be mapped to specific fields in a table when batch matching.
Specify the selection criteria (optional)
Learn more about possible and required address fields.
When building a composite address locator, you may wish to specify which address locators are used based on the values of input address fields. For example, if your composite address locator uses a standard address locator that contains road data for a specific city, you may want to filter out any addresses that do not have that particular city name. Using selection criteria will disqualify participating address locators that do not return acceptable results from the search process.
Map address fields
When no selection criteria are specified, each address locator is used until potential matches are found for each participating address locator for that particular address.
As previously mentioned, each standard address locator has a predefined list of required input address fields. You must map the list of input address fields you specified for the composite address locator to the fields needed for each of the individual participating address locators. At this point, you may need to add input address fields to meet the participating address locator field requirements.
Specify your output options
Learn more about the required input address fields
You can specify output fields for a composite address locator just as you can for a standard address locator. Your composite address locator may use several standard address locators with varying spatial references. For your output graphics or feature class, you need to specify the desired spatial reference. You can select from one of the reference systems of the participating standard address locators, or you can choose a different reference system.
How to build a composite address locator
Learn more about output fields.
- Open a workspace in ArcCatalog. It can be a file folder or a geodatabase (except ArcSDE geodatabase).
- Right-click the workspace, click New, and click Address Locator to display the Create New Address Locator dialog box.
- Click Composite as the address locator style you want to use to create the new address locator and Click OK.This will open the New Composite Address Locator dialog box. Follow the steps below to specify the properties and components for the composite address locator.
1. Enter a new name.
- Type a name and description for the new address locator in the Name and Description text boxes.
2. Add the individual address locators.
- Click the Add Address Locator button in the Participating Address Locators portion of the dialog box.This will open the Choose an Address Locator dialog box.
- Choose the address locator you would like to add to the composite address locator and click OK.Repeat this step until you have added all desired participating address locators.
- Optionally, you can change the name of the address locator in the list of participating address locators.This name will be shown in the output feature class to display which locator was used.
- Modify the order in which the address locators are listed using the Arrow Up or Arrow Down buttons to specify the order in which they will be used to search for an address.
3. Specify the input address fields.
- Review the input fields of each participating address locator you have added to the dialog box and determine the total input address fields for the composite address locator. These fields will be displayed on the Find or Geocode Addresses dialog box as input address fields for the composite address locator.
- Click the Add button on the left side of the Input Address Fields portion of the New Composite Address Locator dialog box.This will open the Add Input Field dialog box.
- Type the name and alias of the input address field in the corresponding boxes.
- Specify the size (in characters) of the input address field.
- Specify whether the input address field will be required using the check box provided.
- Click OK. This will close the Add Input Field dialog box and will add the field to the field name list.
- Optionally, select the field name in the field name list and click the Add button on the right side of the Input Address Fields portion of the dialog box to add preferred input field names to be recognized when specifying the table for batch matching to the field.This will open the Field Name to Recognize dialog box.
- Type the additional preferred field name in the corresponding box and click OK.
4. Map your address fields to the participating address locators.
- Select an address locator in the participating address locators list. The input address fields needed for that address locator will appear in the lower left portion of the New Composite Address Locator dialog box.
- Click the drop-down arrow, then click the name of the input address field that contains the specified address information.
- Continue this process until all address fields are mapped for each of the participating address locators.
Specify the selection criteria (optional).
- Select a participating address locator for which you would like to specify selection criteria.
- Click the Edit Selection Criteria button.This will open the Specify Locator Selection Criteria dialog box.
- Specify the selection criteria for the address locator using the available buttons or by entering the information in the text box.If the criteria are met, the participating address locator will be used; otherwise, it will be skipped.
- Click OK.Repeat this process for other address locators for which you would like to specify selection criteria.
5. Specify your output options.
- Specify the desired output fields using the corresponding check boxes.
- Specify the desired output spatial reference. Click the Calculate from Participating Locators button to choose a spatial reference from one of the participating address locators. Choose one from the drop-down menu and click OK. If you prefer to use other spatial reference, click the Change button to modify or choose an alternative spatial reference. A composite address locator must have a valid spatial reference.
6. Save the composite address locator.
- Click OK to save the composite address locator.
- When selecting participating address locators, you may choose more than one composite address locator. However, be sure that you do not loop address locators. For example, if composite address locator A uses composite address locator B as a participating address locator, and composite address locator B uses composite address locator A as a participating address locator, the result will be a repeating loop and will not geocode successfully.
- The maximum number of participating address locators in a composite locator is 30, but it is recommended that you use no more than 10 for performance reasons.
- The name specified in the Participating Address Locators table will be used in the attribute table of a generated feature class. This name cannot contain spaces.
- The order in which the address locators are listed in the Participating Address Locators table determines the order in which they are used in the geocoding process. The address locator listed first will be used first, and so on.
- If you uncheck the check box in the Participating Address Locators table, the address locator is disengaged from the search. You may want to do this to determine the results without one or more of your participating address locators.
- At times, the participating address locators may be altered, moved, renamed, or otherwise unavailable. To reconnect to an address locator, use the Browse button located next to the Participating Address Locators table.
- When mapping address fields for each of the address locators, you may add input address fields to the composite address locator or modify the field properties. To modify the properties of an address field, double-click the field name in the Input Address Field list.
- To remove or modify selection criteria, click the Selection Criteria box and modify the criteria. To remove the criteria, simply delete the text in the Selection Criteria box.