Geocode Service 'Suggest' Capability Returns Non-Existent Addresses

03-06-2017 11:37 AM
New Contributor II


I recently created an address locator in ArcGIS Desktop using the 'US Address - Single House' style. When creating, I chose to 'Enable suggestions' so that when the locator would be used in a web mapping application, users could more quickly select the address that they wanted to geocode. However, when using the locator as a Geocode Service in a web mapping application, the Search Widget that utilizes the locator returns addresses that do not exist, along with the correct address, when the user starts typing in an address for geocoding. Has anyone else experienced these issues? Is this a known bug? Thank you.

-Jacob Snyder

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6 Replies
MVP Emeritus


   I have not seen this ever. You should contact esri tech support.

New Contributor

I think this is a bug, but don't know what happened to the status. I still experience this issue. Take a look at this thread back in 2015, 2016: 

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Esri Regular Contributor

The following thread has more discussion about the behavior and what is happening, which is a limitation in the current address locator technology. Composite Locator Not Properly Locating Address Points The suggestion index for address locators created with your own data that have suggestions enabled behaves as described below:

The suggest index does not store the house number for performance reasons, and so the best practice is to create a composite locator with at least a Street Address or Point Address locator and a Street Name locator. The reason for this is that if the house number doesn't exist in the Street Address or Point Address locator, you will still get a match to Street Name. You do not need different data to create the Street Name locator. A Street Name locator can be created from Street Address data because the Street Name style only uses a subset of the fields required by Point Address or Street Address.

The ArcGIS Geocoding team is currently working on a solution for improving suggest results for locators organizations build from their own data.  We are targeting the solution for release for the first half of 2019.  

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Esri Regular Contributor

We have addressed some of the problems with suggestions from geocode services in ArcGIS Pro 2.3. There is a new tool called Create Locator that will create locators that:

  • Return suggestions with verified house numbers in local locators and geocode services
  • Support suggestions when used locally in ArcGIS Pro
  • Include enhancements to reverse geocoding to return matches to the most relevant feature (point or polygon) near your location, which may be  an address, point of interest, or postal code.


Pro 2.3 will ship with support to build locators with the Create Locator tool for US, US territories, and Canada.  We will be working on releasing additional countries in upcoming releases. If you have access to ArcGIS Pro 2.3 beta, you can test out creating locators with the Create Locator tool and testing out the suggestion in ArcGIS Pro or as a service.


The installed help is included with the beta where the Geocoding help has been update, which can be found under Help > Data > Geocoding . The  "Build your own locator" book is geared towards the Create Locator tool, which has its own help topic under Tool Reference > ArcGIS Pro tool reference > Geocoding toolbox.


The locators created with the Create Locator tool in ArcGIS Pro cannot be added to ArcMap.

If you publish the locator to ArcGIS Server or Portal (federated) you can access the service in ArcMap through an ArcGIS Server connection in ArcMap/ArcCatalog.


Share to federated portal:

Share to ArcGIS Server via Python (Pro): Requires a publisher or administrator ArcGIS Server Connection file that is created in ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro.

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Esri Regular Contributor

ArcGIS Pro 2.3 went live today, now you will be able to create locators with the Create Locator tool that when published as a service will return valid house numbers for addresses when using the suggest operation or autocomplete. When used locally, the locators will return suggestions in the Locate pane. The new tool supports building locators for the US, Canada, and US Territories and supports English, French, and Spanish languages. We will be working on releasing additional countries and languages in upcoming releases. The Geocoding section of the help has been overhauled as well and the following topics would be a good place to start reading before using the tool.

New Contributor III

This is all good, but the issue still hasn't been resolved in ArcMap! Some programs are not compatible with GIS Pro and this seems to be an issue that was known done 2014. 

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