Create a locator

If you need to create your own locator to geocode against your own data, you can do so in ArcGIS Pro. Creating your own locator allows you to find places and addresses on the map using your own data just as you do using the ArcGIS World Geocoding Service.

The following steps describe how to create a locator using the Create Locator geoprocessing tool:

  1. On the Analysis tab, click the Tools button Tools.

    The Geoprocessing pane appears.

  2. Select the Create Locator tool.
    1. In the Geoprocessing pane, click the Toolboxes tab.
    2. Click Geocoding Tools in the list of geoprocessing toolboxes.
    3. Click the Create Locator tool in the list of geocoding tools.

      Create Locator

  3. In the Create Locator tool pane, click the Role drop-down list and choose the role on which you want to base your locator.
  4. For more information on choosing the right role for your data, see Primary locator roles.
  5. Click the Browse button Browse next to the Primary Table(s) text box.

    The Primary Table(s) dialog box appears.

  6. Browse to the primary reference data you want to use in the locator and click Ok.
  7. If you have more than one dataset that you want to use in your locator, you can repeat the process of adding data to the Primary Table(s) text boxes (more appear as needed) until all of the primary reference data you want to include in the locator shows in the tool.

    If you have multiple data layers of the same type that can be associated with the same role, combine the data layers by either merging or appending the data into a single layer and use the single layer as the reference data layer for the multirole locator.


    In addition to your primary reference data tables, you may have tables containing information for alternate names of streets or cities. For more information about using alternate name tables to create your locator, see Fundamentals of alternate name tables.


    When creating an address locator with reference data that contains millions of features, it is necessary to have at least 3 to 4 times the size of the data in free disk space on the drive containing your temp directory because files used to build the locator are written to this location before the locator is copied to the output location. If you do not have enough disk space, the tool will fail at some point during execution when it runs out of space. Also, keep in mind that when creating very large locators, you should have a machine with enough RAM to handle large memory-intensive processes.

  8. Click the drop-down arrow in the Alias Name column and choose the proper field name to map fields in your data to fields expected by the locator role you have chosen.
  9. Note:

    Do not map the ObjectID in the primary reference data and alternate name table to the Join ID locator role field when building the locator. Using the ObjectID can increase the size of the locator and reduce batch geocoding performance as well as geocoding quality.

  10. An output file name and destination are automatically selected. To change these values, click the Browse button Browse next to the Output Locator text box.

    The Output Locator dialog box appears.

  11. Specify where to store the locator (the save location must be in a file folder), name it, and click Save.

    If you need additional information and reminders about any of the input categories on this tool, click any of the Information buttons Information next to the input categories.

  12. You can set Optional parameters before you run to further customize your locator.

    If you have Alternate Name Tables for any fields in your data, you can add them now and map the alternate name to the appropriate Role in your data.


    If you have any fields in your data that you want to see returned with results that aren't mapped to locator fields for the role that you chose above, you can add those fields as Custom Output Fields. Any field that you add here will be included in your geocoding results.


    You can also modify the Precision Type of your locator by selecting Global High, Global Extra High, or Local Extra High. For more information on this parameter, see the geoprocessing documentation for the Create Locator tool.

  13. Click Run Run.

    Create Locator

When the process finishes, the locator is added to the Locators folder in the Catalog pane. You can also find your locator in the save location you previously specified. You can add your newly created locator to a new or existing project.


Since the field mapping in the Create Locator tool can become complex when creating a multirole locator, consider building a model with ModelBuilder to create your locators. Building a model makes it easier to recreate the locator if the reference data changes, if you need to slightly modify the locator by adding custom output fields, or if you need to share how the locator was created with a colleague. Another option for keeping track of the settings used to build the locator is to create the locator with the Create Locator tool once and save the previously executed tool as either a Python script or geoprocessing package from the Geoprocessing History pane.

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