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Introduction to sharing locators

Many organizations have the need to share locators throughout the organization or to the public. An organization can share a locator as a service so that it is ready to use from many Esri applications. Any updates to a locator service are seamless to users, and the service will always be up to date without any user interaction. Other organizations may just want an easy way to distribute a locator within or even outside of the organization. This can be done with a single locator package file that contains everything needed for distribution. Some organizations may have the need to distribute a locator for use on disconnected mobile devices. In this case, the organization can create a Mobile Map Package, which can be used on mobile devices in conjunction with Navigator for ArcGIS. or other custom runtime applications.

Sharing a locator as a service

If multiple members of your organization need uninterrupted access to your locator, you can share your locator as a geocoding service using ArcGIS Pro. This process will allow you to host the locator on a server, and the locator will then be accessible to everyone in your organization via Internet or intranet. Geocoding services work in ArcGIS Pro in exactly the same way as local locators, allowing for the same high-quality geocoding experience. Any updates to a locator service are seamless to users, and the service will always be up to date without any user interaction.

Packaging locators

Locators can be packaged in the following ways:

Locator packages

A locator package, in which the locator is copied into a package file, can be created using the Package Locator geoprocessing tool. This package can be unpacked by any user on a local machine and used just as any other local locator. This gives users an easy way to distribute the locator, either by giving the locator package file directly to another user or organization or by sharing the locator package file on ArcGIS Online.

Mobile map packages

A mobile map package, which can contain a locator in addition to map layers or a network dataset, is converted into a new file type called an .mmpk file, which can be used in both ArcGIS Pro and mobile applications. Mobile map packages are ideal for using the locator in disconnected ArcGIS Runtime applications, but can also be a good way to share locators for use in ArcGIS Pro.

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