Composite Locator Not Properly Locating Address Points

08-12-2016 07:22 AM
Occasional Contributor III

We have a composite geocode service that is not properly locating address points.  If I enter an address within the search bar of one of our apps built with WAB, the address will show in the suggestions, but if I click on it, I will be taken to somewhere that is not the address that's listed.  And, in some cases, the address is not listed at all in the suggestions box.

There are other locators within the composite locator that are working, for example, one of the locators allows the ability to search by parcel number.  This locator is working fine.  Another allows you to search by place name, and again, this one is working fine.

I have already deleted and re-created the address point locator (with Suggestions enabled), and re-published the service.  Still getting the same results where addresses are not locating properly.

System Details

  • ArcGIS Desktop 10.3
  • ArcGIS Server 10.3
  • Address locator style = US Single House with Subaddress

Below are a couple sample searches.  The first 2 screenshots show that when searching for an address, it appears that the suggestion is finding the address, but will take you to the wrong location.  The second 2 screenshots demonstrate that the locator using place locations is working.

Any ideas what the issue is with our address locator and why it is not working properly?...why it's not locating at the correct location?

1) Searching for 1801 Whispering Pines Ct SW Cedar Rapids IA --- shows in the suggestions box.

2) Search result when I click on the suggestion.  I'm taken to 1720 Whispering Pines Ct SW.

1) Searching for Linn County Community Services Building --- shows in suggestions box.  Search fails.

2) Search result takes me to the correct location.  Search works.

Tags (1)
74 Replies
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Hopefully Suggestions will support Units in the next release. Another idea I had: display the working progress indicator ↻ ↻ while Search widget in WAB is waiting for responses.  It does show this, if you hit Return, but it not while it is awaiting responses for Suggestions. So I propose it show the progress bar for Suggestions too.  Users will wait a few seconds, if they know they should be waiting.

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New Contributor II

Hi Brad,

Just want to confirm: do I still need to change this setting when I publish locator to ArcGIS Server in the new version (Pro 3.1?)

Thank you,

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by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Update:::: I think we have a fix for many users and use cases. Use the Gazetteer style.


To recap: Locators were broken after 10.2; Suggest began to produce 'ghost' results as documented above with Suggestions.

geocoder Suggestions list in Search should not contain addresses that don't exist  


At first I thought, I'll use some credits and put the Locator on AGOL, thinking a locator on AGOL might support Suggestions and Units, as AGOL is the leading edge of development. And then I'll just script replicating to AGOL.  To my surprise AGOL can't host Locators. It is not In Product Plan either, which was also unexpected. Hosted locators could generate revenue from storage credit. ArcGIS Online Hosted Locators 


 I had rolled our viewer out a few weeks ago. So while directly querying the featureService from the Search Widget worked well in testing, the server load was too high when deployed to production and it took nearly a minute at times to get results. Even after I set minChars to 7 so as to reduce requests. (out of the box it is at only two characters; and generates a ton of requests because of this by default) So it was not usable. I immediately moved the data on to ArcGIS Online as a Hosted layer and re-pointed the site to it, and then the performance was great once again. However, we noticed the spelling is very sensitive in this way, using a featureService to directly query.


So, I have now spun up a locator with the Gazetteer style and it looks we have finally gotten a locator that works well.  It is fast, no ghost results, and resilient and forgiving handling of spelling.  

Update:::  Big thanks for our Rep Rob Hathcock!  So the solution is to publish as Gazetteer style Locator. Since our address point layer has a field Full Address where all info is concatenated, it works perfectly!  Really forgiving with spelling, like for units, prefixes, etc. Best of all?  No 'ghosts'!   So it's finally all good, at last.  I don't know what magic it has under the hood but it seems far less sensitive to spelling. I have noticed one issue, of the difference in Suggestion vs hitting Return (magickey vs no magickey) which I will post a separate question about. That is a separate issue and an inherent design feature enhancement I have for the locator product team, to make them both behave the same and return the same result array. 


I would still love to host our Locator on ArcGIS Online for speed purposes and to offload some bandwidth. And it would generate Esri credit revenue.  And for those without the luxury of using a single field the Ghost result bug is still a primary issue for the Locator product team.

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by Anonymous User
Not applicable

When/if Locators can be Hosted on AGOL please add Gazetteer as an option and a way to have Results be identical from the Suggestion array and Enter key array. Locators: Why are suggestions different than Results? Make them the same. 

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Esri Regular Contributor

Has anyone in this thread moved on to building locators in ArcGIS Pro using the Create Locator tool? If so have you had better outcomes with suggestions or subaddress results? Are you still encountering the problems that you mentioned throughout this thread?


Tutorial: Create a locator—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation

Tutorial: Create a multirole locator—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation

Tutorial: Create a locator with more than one dataset of the same role—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation

Locator role fields—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation

Subaddress as part of PointAddress role info 

Suggestion options

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