Geocoding addresses with Census Bureau Shapefiles

07-07-2022 08:49 AM
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New Contributor

Hi, I will try to make this as clear as possible. It would be greatly appreciated if anyone could help! So I use ArcMap fairly often at work. My question is about geocoding with Census Bureau shapefiles. Basically, I have a list of 4000 addresses in an excel file. I geocode those addresses in ArcMap. And I also use County Subdivision shapefiles from the U.S. Census Bureau that I import into ArcMap. And then I do a "join" of data based off of spatial distribution. My goal is to find which county sub division each address falls into. And for some reason, I get different results every single time. 


It might help to know the overall goal. There are about 1023 county sub divisions in New York State and the list of 4000 addresses that I mentioned are all addresses in NYS. And the goal is to find the number of county sub divisions that has those addresses in them. The weird thing is that it comes up to the same answer every time. Every time it says that there are 412 county sub divisions that contain at least one address. However, even though that is the same every time. The individual rows are not always the same. For example if I run it one time it might say a particular address falls inside of county sub division "01000" and when I run it again it will say that the same address falls inside a different county sub division.


Am I doing something wrong?

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2 Replies
New Contributor II

does the excel file of addresses list complete addresses with details, City, State, Zip code etc? 123 Main Street might appear in many counties?

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Esri Regular Contributor

I don't know if using ArcGIS Pro is an option for  you, but you could try spatially joining the subdivision layer with the Census Bureau files you are using to build the locator with. If you have an Advanced license you could use the Identity tool. Once the layers are joined, use the joined layer to build the locator with the Create Locator tool and in the optional parameters add Subdivision as an output field and then go back to the field map and assign the field in the joined data that has the subdivision number to the Subdivision output field. You can add up to 50 user defined output fields in the tool. Then, when you geocode the addresses the Subdivision output field will be in the geocode result with the joined subdivision value.

If you are stuck with using ArcMap, when you build the locator with the Create Address Locator tool you would map the 'Additional field' to the field in the joined layer with the subdivision value. When you geocode the table the geocode results will have an output field  called User_fld with the subdivision value in it.

Below are some Pro resources if you need them:

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