Display geocode results on the map

An important part of geocoding is displaying the geocode results on the map. How you display the results may vary depending on how you want to use them. If you are using routing apps, you may want the geocode results to display on the side of the street, like the sections of the image below marked with 1. With interactive geocoding, you may want the geocode results to display on the rooftop or the parcel centroid, like the sections in the in the image below marked 2.

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


Side of street location from the feature class geometry.


Rooftop or parcel centroid location derived from the Display_X and Display_Y fields in the point or polygon features. Mapping these fields when building the locator allows you to use the the Preferred Location Type property of the locator.

Preferred display location elements for geocode result
Another important factor for interactive geocoding is the extent of the map to which the application zooms for the geocoding result. You can zoom in closer for addresses and farther away for larger areas such as localities or points of interest, which makes for a better user experience. For more information on zooming to geocode results, see Zoom to geocode results.

For points or polygon address features, the system expects that the input geometry is derived from a location along the street or the street entry for an address. 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). These differ from the x,y values that come from the geometry of the feature. The DisplayX and DisplayY fields are derived from the rooftop or parcel centroid and can be used by some applications for more precise feature mapping and accurate location analysis. The values in these fields must be in the same spatial reference as the feature's geometry.

You can change the geometry that is returned for the geocode result by changing the Preferred Location Type property of the locator. The Preferred Location Type can be set to the rooftop location for locators based on the Point Address, Parcel, and POI primary locator roles. Once this property is changed in the locator, it becomes the default location that is returned for any geocode results. Some applications, such as ArcGIS Pro, allow you to overwrite this value when performing geocoding in certain tools. If the locator is published to ArcGIS Enterprise, this parameter can also be overwritten using ArcGIS REST API.

Preferred location type determines if the geocode result displays on the rooftop or side of the street

If your reference data’s geometry is already the rooftop or parcel centroid, there is no need to populate the DisplayX and DisplayY fields.