So far all of my questions on here have been answered thoroughly and correctly so thank you! I am a new Arc user and kind of learning this stuff as I go along so bear with me.
Right now I have a dataset containing zip code centroid points. I am trying to develop a process (maybe with python?) where I can enter a new address into Arc and it will automatically associate with the nearest centroid. I am aware of the near tool and point distance tools but I want to generate a process that makes it easy to simply just enter an address and have it associate with the nearest centroid.
Thanks for your time!
more reading What is geocoding?—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop
plus other links...these will turn your addresses into mappable locations, which you can then do your near analysis on.
My question was very unclear so I apologize. I already have centroid points located on the map. I would like to be able to enter new random addresses and have them be automatically associated with the closest centroid. Is there a way to set up some sort of automated process for this by using python?
The geocoding has nothing to do with the centroid points. Your address will be located within some polygon...say a postal code/zip code. However, if you happen to live on the edge of your 'polygon' the closest centroid may be located in a different zip code. The question then becomes... do I want to just get a summary of the 'points' that are within my zip code...or do I want them ascribed to the centroid of the nearest zip code...they are not the same. The point-in-polygon one makes more sense to me, since the location of your address relative to a centroid doesn't really matter since you belong to a polygon but may be closer to another polygon than the one you live in.
Shouldn't your zip codes be polygons rather than points? It would be more reliable if you could do a spatial join where your input point intersects the zip code polygon to find out which zip code a point is in, not which centroid it is closest to.