ArcGIS Pro, Locator Properties, Options have all but gone away

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12-16-2019 11:16 AM
GeorgeBrown1
New Contributor III

While working to improve our locators, moving from AM to AGP locators, we have noticed that the abundance of options found in AM are no longer available in AGP (see pics below as just a few options no longer available), or we are just missing where to set these options. We have found that catering these settings have been a tremendous benefit when customizing locators for specific needs. However, due to “optimization” of the locators within AGP, nearly every setting possible within the AM Locators are gone. For example, when checking in with ESRI regarding the ability to set the Side Offset within the locator properties, it was that dreaded statement we end users hate to hear, “We’ve optimized the new locators and the default offset is 3m and there is no option to adjust the side offset. This setting will not be in the next release. I would encourage you to submit an enhancement request including a justification for the need or perhaps adding as an idea on GeoNet.” If it’s not broken, why fix it? We loved having the settings offered in AM and would love for ESRI to consider some of the major settings used by the end user to be returned to the locator property window. Thank you ESRI.

ArcMap Address Locator Properties window

AGP Locator Properties window

10 Replies
ShanaBritt
Esri Regular Contributor

George:

Besides the side offset, what are the other locator properties for the classic locators that you used heavily when building and fine tuning your locators? What type of issues were you trying to solve by modifying the properties of the classic locators that still needs solving using the new locators created in ArcGIS Pro with the Create Locator tool?

In the classic locator properties screenshot above in the Outputs section, those properties that are set as 'Yes' can be found on the Output fields page of the properties dialog of the new locators. Most of the properties in the Geocoding Options section of the classic locator properties are available for the new locators and some do not apply to the new locators.

-Shana

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WrightKennedy
New Contributor II

I wanted to chime in to second George Brown's call for the previous locator options in the new Locator properties. My project is stuck between the older Create Address Locator tool and the newer Create Locator. The Address Locator allows for a user-specified side offset but consistently fails when the source dataset is a feature service layer. Additionally, it doesn’t have the new option (at least that I can find) to “Match out of range” (different from “Match without House Number”). The new Locator usually works on feature service layers but does not allow for easy customization in decision-making or geometry output (such as a user-specified side offset). For me, the important options locked in the new Locator properties are as follows:

  • Side offset [e.g., we geocode houses marked as “rear” farther off the streets than main houses]
  • End offset [e.g., we geocode differently for different street widths: Avenues vs. Streets]
  • Spelling sensitivity [e.g., some addresses we geocode are from poorly OCR’d text, so this is useful]
  • Match if best candidates tie [e.g., so we can identify ambiguity and be more confident in results]
  • Intersection connectors [e.g., multiple types, sometimes unique, used in address listings]

Bonus: Geocoding with the “Match with no zones” option turned off does not seem to work in the new Locator. This seems to fail to return matches more consistently when using numbers stored as text (e.g., FIPS) for zonal fields (i.e., city, state).

The other options in the old Address Locator properties are convenient and sometimes save time, but we can work around them by preprocessing the event dataset (or making changes in the json settings file).

Another, more general point about the new locator options in ArcGIS Pro: I’m frustrated with the move towards a “black box” locator. I see many of these settings are still in the Locator file (settings.json), but why remove accessibility in ArcGIS Pro? Professionals want transparency in and control of their methods. Turn-key solutions make sense for ArcGIS Online but not for the “Pro” version of ArcGIS.

JohnFix2
New Contributor III

We are publishing (in-house ArcGIS Server) a new geocoder using the ArcGIS Pro Locator. This will replace the geocoder created in ArcMap with the Address Locator. We did NOT use an offset in the old geocoder since we use it to geocode vehicle crash locations....and therefore want the X,Y to be on the road.

The new geocoder has an 20' offset applied without specification. This is causing some heartburn with the Crash folks since the crashes will now be offset from the road centerlines.

Any way to turn off the default offset in the ArcGIS Pro Locator?

Shana Britt

ShanaBritt
Esri Regular Contributor

John:

Thank you for the feedback and explanation of your use case. Currently, the offset is fixed and unchangeable, but we are targeting a future release to support editing these properties. 

What is the requirement for the 'Match if best candidates tie' property? Do you not want ties automatically matched? In the Rematch Addresses pane you can view only the tied results by clicking on the Tied tab and manually review only those tied. When the property set to True the ties would automatically be set as unmatched instead. You would then need to go through ALL of the unmatched records to see if any can be matched as tied instead of just looking at the tied ones.

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JohnFix2
New Contributor III

For the application I am dealing with, "side-offside" is the problem. The process is for a Crash records app and it's automated....it takes the first match with highest score. If there is a tie, it takes the first.

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KoryKramer
Community Moderator

This idea was submitted recently -  

It would be good to show your support there and add use cases to the comments so that the geocoding team can track this in a single place.

JohnFix2
New Contributor III

Kory,

I am able to use 7z to un-compress the geocoder.loz file into a folder. I can then edit the settings.json and set the side offset parameter to "0.0".

But when I re-compress the folder using 7z and rename to ".loz" the locator can be loaded into ArcGIS Pro, but the locator is grayed out and I can not select it to use.

Once I complete the above step, I will put into a .SD file (I have python to do this) and deployed to our ArcGIS Server DEV environment for testing.

Do you know the secret-sauce to get this to work? It's important we get our geocoder running with "0" as the side offset sooner than later.

Thanks.

John

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WrightKennedy
New Contributor II

@JohnFix2 Hey John - I'm just now revisiting the thread after ESRI removed the legacy tool "Create Address Locator" from AGP 2.7. 

I believe I've found the issue with reintegrating the edited json file (settings.json) into the locator package (.loz). By default, 7z compresses files even if they were originally stored in the archive. The screenshot shows my edited "settings.json" in 7z and highlights that 7z used Deflate when re-adding the file to the archive. To fix this, I unzipped the original archive (.loz), edited settings.json ("side-offset":0,), saved the json file, and used 7z to archive the files  (Archive format: "zip"; Compression level: "Store"). The file name needs to match the original file name exactly. Afterwards, edit the file extension from .zip to .loz.

Here's a quick summary of how I've changed the offset settings in the new Locator format:

  1. Unzip .loz file
  2. Edit parameters in settings.json and save
    • For my purposes, "side-offset" and "end-offset"
    • You can also change the weighting parameters for the locator
  3. Use 7z to package all of the files and use file name identical to original .loz file name
    • Archive format: zip
    • Compression level: Store
  4. Change extension of .zip archive to .loz
  5. Geocode

 

NB During testing I found that setting the side-offset to 0 still left a small offset in the geocoded point. This may be caused by rounding errors in my reference dataset coordinate system or something along those lines.

JohnFix2
New Contributor III

I knew there was some "trick" when zipping to get this to work. Thank you!!

I did see ArcGIS Pro 2.7 reenabled support for these items. They are not in the UI when you create a locator, but once created you can right click on the locator and select "properties." The panel has the geocoding options you can edit to set side and end offset values. I tried it with 2.7 and it works as expected.

 

Great appreciate your tip on how to compress the file. Thanks!

 

-John