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Reverse Geocode


Creates addresses from point locations in a feature class. The reverse geocoding process searches for the nearest address or intersection for the point location based on the specified search distance.


  • The input feature class must contain point shapes with valid XY coordinates. Addresses will not be returned on points with null coordinates.

  • The output feature class will contain the same number of records as in the input feature class. Additional fields containing the result addresses are added to the feature class. The names of the fields are prefixed with REV_. If an address cannot be found, the fields will contain empty values.

  • If the spatial reference of the input feature class is different from the address locator, the address locator will transform the coordinates on the fly and try to find the match. The output feature class will be saved in the same spatial reference as the input feature class. Changing the spatial reference of the output feature class is possible by setting a different output coordinate system in the tool's environment settings.

  • If a point in the input feature class fails to return an address, it means there are no features in the address locator that can be associated with the input point. Here are a few common causes for the unmatched points:

    • The search distance is so small that the point cannot find any nearest features.
    • The point contains null coordinates.
    • The point's coordinates are incorrect and cannot be transformed to the spatial reference used in the address locator.
    • The address locator does not contain reference features in the area that can be associated with the point.

    You may increase the search distance so that the chance to find the nearest address is higher, or use a different address locator that contains more features or covers a bigger area to match the input points.

  • An ArcGIS Online for organizations subscription is required if you reverse geocode a feature class using the ArcGIS Online World Geocoding Service.


ReverseGeocode_geocoding (in_features, in_address_locator, out_feature_class, {address_type}, search_distance, {feature_type}, {location_type})
ParameterExplanationData Type

A point feature class or layer from which addresses are returned based on the features' point location.

Feature Layer

The address locator to use to reverse geocode the input feature class.

Address Locator

The output feature class.

Feature Class

Indicates whether to return addresses for the points as street addresses or intersection addresses if the address locator supports intersection matching.

  • ADDRESSReturns street addresses or in the format defined by the input address locator. This is the default option.
  • INTERSECTIONReturns intersection addresses. This option is available if the address locator supports matching intersection addresses.

The distance used to search for the nearest address or intersection for the point location. Some locators use optimized distance values that do not support overriding the search distance parameter.

Linear Unit

Limits the possible match types returned. Single or multiple values can be selected. If a single value is selected, the search tolerance for the input feature type is 500 meters. If multiple values are included, the default search distances specified in the feature type hierarchy table are applied. See the REST API web help for more details about the featureTypes parameter for reverseGeocode.

This parameter is not supported for all locators.

This parameter is not supported for composite locators.

  • POINT_ADDRESSA street address based on points that represent house and building locations.
  • STREET_ADDRESSA street address that differs from PointAddress because the house number is interpolated from a range of numbers. StreetAddress matches includes the house number range for the matching street segment, rather than the interpolated house number value.
  • STREET_INTERSECTIONA street address consisting of a street intersection along with city and optional state and postal code information. This is derived from StreetAddress reference data, for example, Redlands Blvd & New York St, Redlands, CA, 92373.
  • LOCALITYA place-name representing a populated place.
  • POSTALPostal code. Reference data is postal code points, for example, 90210 USA.
  • POINT_OF_INTERESTPoints of interest. Reference data consists of administrative division place-names, businesses, landmarks, and geographic features, for example, Starbucks.

This parameter is available for locators that support the locationType parameter. Specifies the preferred output geometry for PointAddress matches. The options for this parameter are a side of street location, which can be used for routing or the location that represents the rooftop or parcel centroid for the address. If the preferred location does not exist in the data, the default location will be returned instead. For geocode results with Addr_type=PointAddress, the X/Y attribute values describe the coordinates of the address along the street, while the DisplayX/DisplayY values describe the rooftop, or building centroid, coordinates. See the REST API web help for more details about the locationType parameter for reverseGeocode.

This parameter is not supported for all locators.

This parameter is not supported for composite locators.

  • ADDRESS_LOCATIONReturns geometry for geocode results that could represent an address location such as rooftop, building centroid, or front door.
  • ROUTING_LOCATIONReturns geometry for geocode results that represents a location close to the side of the street, which can be used for vehicle routing. This is the default.

Code sample

ReverseGeocode example (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the ReverseGeocode function in immediate mode.

# Import system modules
import arcpy
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:/data/locations.gdb"

# Set local variables:
input_feature_class = "customers"
address_locator = "e:/StreetMap/data/Street_Addresses_US"
result_feature_class = "customers_with_address"

arcpy.ReverseGeocode_geocoding(input_feature_class, address_locator, 
                               result_feature_class, "ADDRESS", "100 Meters")

Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Yes

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