Tips for improving geocoding quality

Geocoding is included in many workflows and each workflow can vary. The score of a geocoding result to be considered a match may be higher in some workflows than in others. You may want your output to display on the rooftop or parcel centroid when displaying it on the map rather than the side of the street that is used for routing. Adjusting your locator to meet these types of needs is described in the sections below.

Geocoding options

Match out of range

If you want to match to a street segment, even if the street number doesn't exist on the line segment in your data but is within a reasonable threshold and is likely to exist, set the Match out of range property to Yes. When this property is set to Yes, the point is placed on the end of the street segment where the address is slightly outside of the house number range. This ensures that you do not miss a potential match because the data is not 100 percent up to date. Matches that are slightly outside of the house number range have an Addr_type field value of StreetAddressExt.


The Match out of range property only applies to locators that support and return StreetAddress matches.

Preferred location type

You can display geocoding results on a map for further analysis. Change the Preferred Location Type setting to Address Location so that the points represent the rooftop or parcel centroid for the address. The address location is closest to the center of the feature that represents the address. In contrast, you can use geocoding results in a routing application to locate the points on the side of the street for better routing. In this case, the Routing Location option is a better choice. The routing location is typically closer to the street, where a vehicle would arrive at the location. In the illustration below, the green dot represents the Routing Location and the pink dot represents the Address Location.

Rooftop and side of the street display results for the same address


If the selected preferred location is not found, the other location type is returned. The Preferred Location Type setting only applies to locators that support and return PointAddress, Parcel, and POI matches.

Minimum match score

Minimum match score is a threshold that allows you to control how closely addresses must match their most likely candidate in the reference data to be considered a match. If the potential candidate is below the threshold, the address is not matched to the candidate.

The minimum match score for a locator is a value between 0 and 100. A perfect match yields a score of 100. If your workflows require matched addresses with a high level of confidence, set the Minimum match score to a higher threshold. The higher setting ensures that only the highest-quality matches are returned. If you want to maximize the number of addresses that can be matched and do not mind if some addresses are potentially matched incorrectly, use a lower threshold setting.

When batch geocoding, the minimum match score of the potential candidate must be met or exceeded to be matched. If more than one match is found, the candidate with the highest match score is accepted.


If you set the Minimum match score property on a multirole locator, this can potentially override the built-in fallback logic between roles. You may not see results that match to the lower-precision roles in your locator and may instead only see matches to the highest-precision role.

Minimum candidate score

Minimum candidate score determines which potential candidates are returned for interactive geocoding (geosearch). For example, if you search for a location in the Locate pane, candidates below the minimum candidate score threshold are not displayed. The Minimum candidate score for a locator is a value between 0 and 100. The Minimum candidate score is also used during interactive rematch; for example, in the Rematch Addresses pane, only candidates that meet or exceed the minimum candidate score are shown in the pane.

Side offset

Side offset determines how far the geocode result is located from the street line segment. Some locator roles use reference data containing address range information for each side of the street, such as Street Address. Locators based on these roles can determine on which side of the street an address is located. For cartographic or proximity analysis purposes, you can specify a side offset for geocoded features when using locators based on Street Address or Distance Range roles.

End offset

Locators that use reference data with line geometry can interpolate a position along reference features for a geocoded address. To prevent features that are located at the end of a reference feature from falling on top of other features (for example, a cross street), the locator can apply a squeeze factor, or end offset, to the location of a geocoded address. The end offset setting of a locator can be expressed as a linear distance. By default, the end offset setting for a locator is 3 meters.

In the following illustration, the address, 100 MAIN ST, has been offset from the street feature by the side offset distance of 25 feet. This address falls at the end of the street feature and is, therefore, in line with the end of the street feature.

End offset

When streets intersect at odd angles, specifying an offset distance can have the undesirable effect of placing the address so it appears that the address does not belong to MAIN ST, but rather to OAK AV. This is shown in the following illustration:

End offset

Intersection connectors

Locators that contain street features support geocoding street intersections in addition to street addresses. An intersection search consists of the intersecting street names and additional identifying information, such as the city, postal code, or both. An intersection address requires the name of the first street and an intersection connector, followed by the name of the second street you want to find. For example, Redlands Blvd and New York St 92373 is a valid intersection search, as is Redlands Blvd & New York St Redlands Ca.

The Intersection connectors setting allows you to specify all the strings that the locator recognizes as intersection connectors. Examples of intersection connectors can include &, @, |, and \, but by default, each country has been configured with intersection connectors that are common in that country. You can override the default intersection connectors by adding your own list of symbols or words to this property. The list of intersection connectors should be in a quoted comma separated list like the following: "&","|","//","@"


Only the Street Address locator role supports matching street intersections.

Match with no zones

Match with no zones is a legacy property for locators that were built without administrative zones. It is not recommended to build locators without administrative zones, such as city or region and postal code, because it can result in poor geocoding quality when matching addresses that have the same street name. Building locators without administrative zones also impacts geocoding performance. Additionally, the region abbreviation information, such as the state in the USA, is used to enhance the existing data in the locator for state highways. For example, if you have a highway in your data named State Hwy 39 and your data has CA in the region abbreviation field, a geocode result is also returned for CA-39 without using an alternate name table that contains the alternate street name.

Countries to support

If you have a locator that contains data for multiple countries, you can perform a search of addresses or locations that you know are in one or two countries. You can modify the country settings to limit your search and exclude matches outside of those countries.

Categories to support

If you have a locator that supports multiple address types, you can modify this setting to exclude matches to certain types. For example, your locator can support matches to PointAddress level, StreetAddress level, StreetName level, and Postal level. You may want to exclude matches to the Postal level because you consider matches to that level to be too imprecise for your purposes. This setting allows you to control the precision of your geocoding experience.

Features to support for reverse geocoding

If you have a locator that supports multiple feature types, you can modify this setting to limit the types results that are returned from this locator when it is used for reverse geocoding operations. For example, if you want your locator to return addresses when reverse geocoding, you should select Point Address and Street Address, but if you are primarily interested in getting the post code description for a location, you should only select Postal Code.

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