Skip to Main Content

Geocoding: Creating An Address Locator

Tutorial on mapping locations based on addresses.

Creating an Address Locator

This tutorial will guide you through creating your own address locator, using reference data from the U.S.Census Bureau's Tiger/LINE files.The new address locator could take the place of the Esri data available on their servers.


  1. In the Table of Contents of Philadelphia.mxd, locate the layer named Streets. Right-click and select Open Attribute Table.  This is the reference data on which we will build an address locator, originally from the U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER/Line site. Look at the column titles. Each street segment has a FROMADD and a TOADD for the right and left side of the street that indicates the range of addresses found there.
  2. Open the Catalog window.  You can access it either from the tab at the right or, if the tab is not visible, go to Windows > Catalog. This will let you view files available on your system.
  3. In the Catalog window, find the folder you created with your data. Right-click on the title of the folder and select New > Address Locator…
    Screenshot of Catalog Window with  Right-click on the title of the folder and select New > Address Locator…
  4. In the Address locator Style field, select “US Address Dual Ranges.” For Reference Data, select “Streets” from the drop-down menu. In the Field Map area, make sure that every field with an asterisk has an entry under “Alias Name.” The field for Street Name should be assigned to FULLNAME. Under Output Address Locator, give the new locator a meaningful name, such as phila_addloc.  When the menu is filled as below, click on OK.
    Screenshot of Create Address Locator Box

    You should now be able to find the new locator in the Catalog window. It can be used in the same way as the Esri address locators in the geocoding process, though of course this particular locator covers only Philadelphia.