Skip To Content

Commonly used locator styles

When choosing a locator style on which to build your locator, several things should be considered, including the type of geometry in your reference data and the format of the data you want to geocode. The US Address—Dual Ranges locator style is used for the majority of common United States street addresses. The General—Single Field style can be used for finding features that are identified by a name or code.

The following table shows some of the basic characteristics of each of the locator styles provided with ArcGIS Pro. The locator styles for street addresses include optional multiple-zone fields. These styles can be used to geocode an address with some additional zone information, such as 320 Madison St, 53606 or 329 Holiday Court, La Jolla, CA, 92122. Some locator styles are further extended to include an alternate name table, which allows geocoding addresses based on either the primary or the alternate names of the street.

Basic characteristics of locator styles provided with ArcGIS Pro

StylesTypical reference dataset geometryTypical reference dataset representationAddress search parametersExamplesApplications

US Address—City State

Points or polygons

City within a state in the United States

City name, with state name or abbreviation

River Forest, IL

Finding a specific city in a state in the United States

US Address—Dual Ranges

Lines

Address range for both sides of street segment

All address elements in a single field

320 Madison St.

N2W1700 County Rd.

105-30 Union St.

5th St NE & Cherry St NE

Finding a house on a specific side of the street or street intersections

Supports alternate street and city name tables

US Address—One Range

Lines

One range for each street segment

All address elements in a single field

2 Summit Rd.

N5200 County Rd.

115-19 Post St.

5th St NE & Cherry St NE

Finding a house on a street where side is not needed, or street sides are stored as attributes in each street segment, street intersections

Supports alternate street and city name tables

US Address—Single House

Points or polygons

Each feature represents an address

All address elements in a single field

71 Cherry Ln.

W1700 Rock Rd.

38-76 Carson Rd.

Finding parcels, buildings, or address points

Supports alternate street and city name tables

US Address—Single House Subaddress

Points or polygons

Each feature represents an address with optional subaddress elements

All address elements in a single field

15 Lakeshore Dr. Apt. 24A

67 1/2 Beach St.

Finding apartment units, townhouses, duplexes, or stores in a shopping plaza

Supports alternate street and city name tables

US Address—Street Name

Lines

Each feature with a street name and optional zone name

Address elements without house number in a single field

Raspberry Lane San Antonio TX

Finding features by street names

US Address—ZIP 5 Digit

Points or polygons

ZIP Code region or centroid

Five-digit ZIP Code

22066

Finding a specific ZIP Code location

US Address—ZIP+4

Points or polygons

ZIP+4 region or centroid

Five-digit ZIP Codes and four-digit extension in separate field

96822-2323

Finding a specific ZIP+4 location

US Address—ZIP+4 Range

Points or polygons

Each feature represents a ZIP Code and a low and high plus-4 range

Five-digit ZIP Codes and four-digit extension in separate field

63703-0078

Finding a specific ZIP+4 location

General—City State Country

Points or polygons

City within a state and country

City name, state name or abbreviation, and country name

Rice, WA, USA

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Finding a specific city in a state and country

General—Gazetteer

Points or polygons

Each feature represents a particular geographic place-name or landmark

All place-name elements in a single field

Leeds Castle, England

Sapporo, Japan

Finding geographic place-names or landmarks in an area of the world

General—Single Field

Points or polygons

Each feature is identified by a text string, name, or code (code can contain numbers but must be represented by a text string)

Single, user-specified variable

Cafe Cabrillo

N1N115

Finding features that are identified by a name or code

Supports one alternate name table

Table of some of the basic characteristics of each of the locator styles provided with ArcGIS

US Address—City State

The US Address—City State locator style allows you to create locators for city and state names in the United States. This locator style can use feature classes with point or polygon geometry. Each feature in the reference data represents a state polygon or its centroid.

Reference data for this address locator style must either have a single field that contains the city and state names or have fields that specify the city and state names of the feature in addition to ObjectID and SHAPE fields. If the reference data only contains fields for city and state, the city field should only be mapped to Named Place and the state field to State in the Field Map. If the reference data only contains a single field with both city and state names, this field should only be mapped to Named Place in the Field Map.

Tables of addresses that can be geocoded using this address locator style must also contain fields that have the city and state names or a single field that contains both city and state names.

US Address—Dual Ranges

The US Address—Dual Ranges locator style allows you to create locators for common addresses encountered in the United States. One advantage of this locator style is that it permits you to provide a range of house number values for both sides of a street segment. With this, the locator can not only deliver a location along the street segment but can also determine the side of the street segment where the address is located.

This locator style can use feature classes with any type of geometry but typically uses those with line geometry. Each feature in the reference data represents a street segment with two ranges of addresses that fall along that street segment, one for each side of the street.

Each road segment has a to and from address range for both right and left sides of the road

Reference data must contain fields pertaining to the To and From address values for left and right sides of the street

To use a feature class as reference data for the US Address—Dual Ranges locator style, it must have four fields that contain from address and to address information for each side of the street, as well as street name information, a feature ID field, and a SHAPE field. The feature ID field can be an ObjectID or any unique ID field in the feature class. In addition, you can specify fields that contain the street's prefix direction, prefix type, street type, suffix direction, or zone.

This locator style supports normal block ranges, alphanumeric addresses with grid zone, or hyphenated addresses containing cross street information in the house number. Street intersections are also supported by this address locator style. Optional fields such as ZIPL and ZIPR (ZIP for each side of the street), left and right city, and state abbreviation fields in the reference feature class can be used.

Reference data must contain fields pertaining to additional zone information

Tables of addresses that can be geocoded against the locators created with this locator style must have an address field containing the street number and street name in addition to the street's prefix direction, prefix type, street type, or suffix direction, if any. Intersection descriptions (for example, Eureka Blvd. & Vine St.) can also be included in this field.

Alphanumeric ranges

Alphanumeric house number ranges are used in some regions of Wisconsin and Illinois. The alphanumeric portion of the address usually represents a grid zone. For example, the address N84W 16301 W Donald Ave suggests that the address is not only at 16301 West Donald Avenue but also in grid zone N84W.

Alphanumeric house ranges including grid zone numbers

This locator style can use feature classes with any type of geometry but typically uses those with line geometry representing the street network. Each feature in the reference data represents a street segment with two address ranges, one for each side of the street.

Table with grid zone information and address

Hyphenated ranges

Hyphenated number ranges in United States addresses depict a number that is usually the number of the cross street followed by a hyphen, and then the actual number of the house along the street (for example, 76-20 34th Ave). One location that uses this type of address style is Queens, New York. The first number indicates either the north or west cross street. The second number indicates where on the block the building is located.

This locator style can use feature classes with any type of geometry but typically uses those with line or polyline geometry. Each feature in the reference data represents a street segment with two ranges of addresses that fall along that street segment, one for each side of the street.

In the from address and to address fields of the feature class, the house number can be a hyphenated number or a simple house number. For example, as shown in the table below, the address ranges 75-01 – 75-99 and 75-00 – 75-98 must contain a hyphen that separates the cross street and the actual house number.

U.S. Hyphenated Ranges table

US Address—One Range

The US Address—One Range locator style allows you to create a locator for street segments with address ranges. This locator style is similar to the US Address—Dual Ranges style; however, this style requires only one range for each road segment. This locator style typically uses feature classes with line or polyline geometry. Each feature in the reference data represents a street segment with a range of addresses that fall along that street segment. This address locator style also supports street intersections.

To use a feature class as reference data for a US Address—One Range locator, it must have fields that contain from address, to address, side of segment, and street name information; a feature ID field; and a SHAPE field. In addition, you can specify fields that contain the street's prefix direction, prefix type, street type, suffix direction, or zone.

The US Address—One Range locator style has the same address table requirements as the US Address—Dual Ranges locator style.

US Address—Single House

The US Address—Single House locator style allows you to create locators for United States addresses. This locator style uses feature classes with polygon or point geometry as reference data. Each feature in the reference data corresponds to a single address. For example, you can use a feature class containing parcel polygons, building footprints, or parcel centroids (the center points of parcel polygons) as reference data for a US Address—Single House locator. Each address you want to search must be present on the reference data. Exact locations cannot be extrapolated or interpolated from any type of range of addresses on a street. As shown below, the US Address—Single House locator style requires that each feature in the reference data correspond to a single address value, such as a parcel or building.

Each parcel or building has a unique address

To use a feature class as reference data for a US Address—Single House locator, it must have individual fields that contain a street number and street name information, a feature ID field, and a SHAPE field. In addition, you can specify fields that contain the street's prefix direction, prefix type, street type, suffix direction, or zone.

The US Address—Single House locator style has the same address table requirements as the US street locator style.

Note:

The US Address—Single House locator style does not support addresses that contain subaddresses such as apartment units. If your reference data contains subaddress features and attributes, you can use the US Address—Single House Subaddress locator style to create a locator for geocoding subaddresses.

US Address—Single House Subaddress

The US Address—Single House Subaddress locator style allows you to create address locators for United States addresses that contain subaddress information such as identifiers for apartment units, townhouses, duplexes, or stores in a shopping plaza. Subaddresses can be found in a wide variety of residential and commercial buildings, as well as special structures and establishments such as airports, trailer parks, piers and docks, and school campuses.

This locator style uses feature classes with polygon or point geometry as reference data. Each feature in the reference data corresponds to a single address with subaddress information. You can use a feature class containing building footprints or address points as reference data. Each address you want to search must exist in the reference data. Exact locations cannot be extrapolated or interpolated from any type of range of addresses on a street. As shown below, the US Address—Single House Subaddress address locator style requires that each feature in the reference data correspond to a single address value, such as a building or address points.

Each address point contains an address with subaddress

In addition to the basic address attributes, the feature class as reference data for a US Address—Single House Subaddress locator can contain individual fields for unit type and unit ID. The unit ID field can contain just the unit ID, both the unit type and unit ID, or a mix of building and unit subaddress elements, for example, Building A, Unit 102.

Subaddress fields

Note:

This locator style supports one pair of subaddress elements, SUBADDRTYPE and SUBADDRUNIT, but the values can include subaddress elements related to buildings. It is optional to use both subaddress elements, SUBADDRTYPE and SUBADDRUNIT, or only use SUBADDRUNIT in the locator. Finding addresses that include subaddresses will be based on an exact match of what is stored in the reference data in most cases.

This locator style also supports house number extensions, which duplexes and divided lots can have, but are stored in a single field represented as the house number or complete house number, for example, 23A Cherry Lane or 56 1/2 Beach St. While 56 Beach St. was the assigned address of the original building, 56 1/2 was assigned to the adjacent building when the lot was subdivided. A suffix such as A or 1/2 is often used as a house number suffix. Although it is not common, prefixes, such as 28R in 28R 17 Oak St, can be used as a house number prefix. All of the house number components (house number prefix, house number, house number suffix) should be concatenated into a single field that is then used as the house number field when building the locator.

Subadress house number components

The US Address—Single House Subaddress locator style has the same input address table requirements as the US Address—Dual Ranges locator style. An example of a single house with a subaddress is 31 Orchard Ct, Building A Unit 104.

US Address—Street Name

The US Address—Street Name locator style allows you to create locators for street name addresses encountered in the United States. This address style is similar to the US Address—Dual Ranges locator style, except that address ranges in the line reference data are not required. Addresses are searched based on the street name only; for example, Orchard Court, Lansing, MI.

This locator style is recommended if the reference data does not have address ranges and the input addresses do not contain house numbers. Since many segments in the reference data may have the same street names, searching will be more efficient if segments of the same name are chained or dissolved together before you use it for creating a locator.

The US Address—Street Name locator style has the same address table requirements as the US Address—Dual Ranges locator style. When an address is found, the matched location is placed on the middle of the segment.

US Address—State

The US Address—State locator style allows you to create locators for state names in the United States. This locator style can use feature classes with point or polygon geometry. Each feature in the reference data represents a state polygon or its centroid.

Reference data for this address locator style must have fields that specify the state name of the feature in addition to ObjectID and SHAPE fields.

Tables of addresses that can be geocoded using this address locator style must also contain a field that has the state name.

US Address—ZIP 5-Digit

The US Address—ZIP 5-Digit locator style allows you to create locators for postal codes. While specifically designed for United States five-digit ZIP Code values, any short integer postal code can be used. This locator style uses feature classes with point or polygon geometry, and each feature in the reference data represents a ZIP polygon or its centroid.

Reference data for a ZIP 5-Digit locator
Reference data for a ZIP 5-Digit locator

Reference data for a US Address—ZIP 5-Digit style locator must have a field that specifies the 5-digit postal code for the feature in addition to ObjectID and SHAPE fields.

Tables of addresses that can be geocoded using this locator style must contain a field that has the ZIP Code information.

US Address—ZIP+4

The US Address—ZIP+4 locator style is for geocoding United States ZIP+4 Codes. This locator style can be used to create locators that use point or polygon feature classes as reference data.

Example of reference data attribute fields

Each feature in the reference data source represents a ZIP+4 Code boundary polygon or its centroid. In addition to ObjectID and Shape fields, the reference data feature class or shapefile must have a text field that represents the 5-digit ZIP Code of the feature and another text field that contains the 4-digit +4 code.

To geocode a table of addresses using a US Address—ZIP+4 locator, the table must have a text field that contains the entire ZIP+4 Code (the 5-digit ZIP Code as well as the +4 code), as in 12345-6789, 12345 6789, or 123456789. Example of address data table fields

US Address—ZIP+4 Range

The US Address—ZIP+4 Range locator style allows you to create locators for a range of United States ZIP+4 Codes. This locator style can use feature classes with point or polygon geometry, and each feature in the reference data represents a contiguous block with a specific range of ZIP+4 Codes.

To use a feature class or shapefile as reference data for a US Address—ZIP+4 Range locator style, it must have fields that specify the five-digit ZIP Code for the feature and the lower and upper bounds for the four-digit add-on code in addition to ObjectID and SHAPE fields.

ZIP+4 Range feature class attributes

The US Address—ZIP+4 Range locator style has the same address table requirements as the US Address—ZIP+4 locator style. A match is assigned to a feature that covers the range of ZIP+4 values.

General—City State Country

The General—City State Country locator style allows you to create locators for city names that contain fields that have city, state name, or country information. This locator style can use feature classes with point or polygon geometry. Each feature in the reference data represents a city polygon or its centroid.

Reference data for this locator style must have fields that specify the city name of the feature in addition to ObjectID and SHAPE fields. State and country names for the feature are optional fields.

Tables of addresses that can be geocoded using this locator style must also contain fields with city name and optional state- and country-specific information that is used to narrow down the search.

General—Gazetteer

The General—Gazetteer locator style allows you to create locators for data that contains the gazetteer names. A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or directory for place-names. You can use locators created with this style to find features such as mountains, bridges, rivers, cities, and so forth.

This locator style uses feature classes with point or polygon geometry as reference data. In addition to a feature ID field and SHAPE field, feature classes that you can use as reference data for the locator must have attributes representing the names and geographical zones, such as city, state, and country, to distinguish the location of the feature.

Gazetteer style feature class attributes

Tables of addresses that can be geocoded using this locator style must also contain the place-names and geographical zones. The geographical zone information is used to narrow down the search since it is common that the same name, such as Rochester, can be found in multiple states in the country.

General—Single Field

The General—Single Field locator style allows you to create locators for address data that contains the location information in a single field. This locator style has a broad range of applications. You can use the locator style to geocode location descriptions, such as place-names, points of interest, or alphanumeric strings for identifying locations, such as N1N115. In addition, you can use the Single Field locator style to create locators to find hydrologic units, census tracts, and virtually any unique feature represented in a feature class.

Although Single Field locators can use feature classes with any type of geometry, they typically use those with point or polygon geometry as reference data. In addition to a feature ID field and SHAPE field, feature classes that you can use as reference data for the locator must have a specific field that contains the unique name or value for that feature. It is this field in the attribute table that is referenced when geocoding against the reference data.

Tables of addresses that can be geocoded using the Single Field locator style must also contain a single field with the same unique name or value that can be used to identify the locations.

Additional style properties

As you look over the list of locator styles when you create a locator, you'll notice that there are other attributes to distinguish the various locator styles.

Alternate names

You can use a table to define alternate names for the features in your reference data feature class. Using alternate street names allows you to match an address to a feature using one of many names for the feature. For example, if Bridge Street is also known as Slash Road, you can find the same address using 266 Bridge Street as you can using 266 Slash Road.

While the reference feature data must contain a user-defined and unique JOINID field for each feature, tables that are used to specify alternate street names must also have an ID field, a JOIN_ID that specifies the feature in the reference data to which the alternate name applies, and alternate street name fields. The table can have fields that contain prefix direction, prefix type, street type, or suffix direction information. You can specify multiple alternate names for the same feature in your reference data by creating records in the alternate street name table with the same JOIN_ID, referencing the same feature in the reference data feature class.

Reference feature class and alternate name tables must contain a JOINID field

Each record in an alternate name table applies to only one feature in your reference data feature class. To specify an alternate name for all features that make up a particular street in your reference data feature class, you must create a record in the alternate name table for each feature in your reference data feature class.

Use the City, State, and ZIP fields

Many times, additional fields are found on the reference data that further clarify the location of the attribute, including postal codes, states, or countries. This type of information is referred to as zone information and can be used to increase the likelihood of a correct match. Although zone fields are optional when creating a locator, including zones such as City, State, and ZIP fields is helpful to facilitate nationwide geocoding.

Minimum and Maximum XY Values for Extent

Each feature in the reference data can be specified with an extent that can be used to display the match location. It requires four fields in the table to store the minimum and maximum x-coordinates and the minimum and maximum y-coordinates: Xmin, Xmax, Ymin, and Ymax. The values in the fields must be in the same spatial reference of the feature's geometry. The Xmin, Xmax, Ymin, and Ymax values are combined to set the map extent for displaying a geocode result.

Note:

If these four fields are not set for building the address locator, the geocode result will be displayed based on a default zoom factor defined by the application.

Display X and Display Y

Each feature in the reference data can be specified with a pair of x,y values that represent the actual or preferred location of the address (in other words, the building or parcel centroid). It differs from the x,y values of the match result, which are derived from a location along the street or the street entry for an address. The values in these fields must be in the same spatial reference of the feature's geometry.

The Display X and Display Y fields can be used by some applications for more precise mapping of the features and accurate locational analysis.

Additional fields

Each locator style includes one or two additional fields. These fields are optional. You can choose any field from the reference feature class to be included as an additional field. When you search for an address using a locator that has a specified additional field, the information from the corresponding field in the reference data is displayed in the address candidates and saved in the output feature class.

Common examples include Block ID, special identifiers, or names of property owners. The additional field saved in the output feature class can be used to join to other attribute tables or feature classes for further spatial analysis. The information can also be useful when you rematch the addresses and need additional information to determine a correct match.