Locators: add URL parameters. For example, extent, Suggest, others

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12-28-2018 09:32 AM
Status: Open
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KevinMacLeod4
Frequent Contributor

As a feature enhancement request - can the ability to have Locators be modified by URL parameters be added?  For example, tack on &Suggest=False or something, to disable Suggestions.

 

Reason I ask, is that I disabled all Suggestions on my Locators for use in the WAB Search widget.  This is because Esri Locators have a documented "ghost address" issue - Composite Locator Not Properly Locating Address Points  geocoder Suggestions list in Search should not contain addresses that don't exist (until the next ArcGIS Pro update).

Initially I had the Esri Placename locator. And it's great. But it has Suggest. So it was the only one popping up suggestions. Thus I had to remove. Because the WAB Search defaults to search ALL locators.  (because the other locators I had disabled Suggest because of the ghost address issue)

 

First, it would be nice to tell WAB to exclude one or more results from the list, as well. Like, tell WAB not to include the Esri locator in the dropdown Search results, unless the user explicitly checks it off. (have checkbox next to each one, the programmer can set whether it searches one, some, or all, by default)  (So, it would search all my locators, i.e. our three in-house locators, but not the Esri Locator, that would've been a good workaround but is not possible until with a simple GUI like I propose and I did not have time to hack this functionality in)

 

So the idea for Locators, here in this post, is that we could modify some of a locator service's behaviors, via URL parameters. That would also then allow it to be exposed as a checkbox in WAB as well so you can could Suggest as True or False.  But if it is a simple URL parameter it makes it easier to adapt to all kinds of scenarios.

In fact I just thought of another good use for URL parameter. I've noticed you can lock a locator to search only in the current Map extent. Well, that's decent. But... let's say a user zooms way out past our county. I want the Esri locator to search only in our county. If we could use a URL parameter to define a max. extent to search within, that would accomplish that. That would be sweet. Either simple envelope or maybe even a polygon. With a proxy a long URL would be possible. But at least an envelope would be neat. 

(while max map extent can be set, perhaps I'd want to not limit extent, just constrain locator results)

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6 Comments
KevinMacLeod4

Kory Kramer‌ thoughts?

I'd really like to lock the Esri world geocoder locator service to search only in the extent of our County. So we don't get McDonald's from Australia as results or something. (Hard and fast; I know of the Local Search but that is not perfect)

Also I would like to disable Suggest but JUST for the Esri geocoder service. I want Suggest on our services but not the Esri one.  

KoryKramer
KevinMacLeod4

Hi Kory, sounds great.  Would that use credits? The documentation says batches of geocoding use credits. But if I just put it in to the Search widget in a WebApp Builder site, will that use credits? It seems like that is just a "geosearch" and will not use credits but I just wanted to confirm.  Thanks as always!

KoryKramer

Right, a geosearch doesn't consume credits.  It's really only when a result is returned that can be persisted somewhere that is the differentiator as to whether credits will be consumed.

Geosearch... "The result can be displayed on the map, but the result is not stored in any way for later use."

Geocoding... "Convert an address or place to an x,y coordinate and append the result to an existing record in a database."

KevinMacLeod4

Kory Kramer‌ perfect. That works just as I would expect.

One question still..  I want to disable Suggest on the Esri locator. Is that possible?  I want to have it there in my Search widget in the upper-left on my WAB viewers as an option, but don't want it to pollute the Suggest auto-complete list, with less-accurate results for street addresses. In other words it will be an option, but tucked away neatly. For now, my approach is to isolate the Esri geocoder to its own widget. Example: 

I do hope Locators' REST will support URL parameters in the future. This would significantly expand their ability to integrate with other applications. URL parameters make it so easy to integrate when coming in from another product or site; or embed in another site.  Because they can be so easily changed programatically for whatever reason.

KevinMacLeod4

My main question is still - how to disable Suggest for the Esri locator?  Or it would at least be nice in the Web App Builder Search widget to be able to specify which locators to disable from Suggest or from the Results list.