In ArcGIS 8.3 and previous versions, an object that defines the process for translating nonspatial descriptions of places, such as street addresses, into spatial data that can be displayed as features on a map. A geocoding service defines the path to the reference data source and the file of nonspatial data, algorithms for standardizing addresses and matching them to the reference data, and parameters for reading address data, matching address data to the reference data, and creating output. In ArcGIS 9, a geocoding service is called an address locator.
In ArcWeb Services, a service that translates a nonspatial description of a place, such as a street address, into a spatial description of that place by defining x,y coordinates. The x,y coordinates of the location are cross-referenced between a standard reference grid and nongeographic data, such as an address or ZIP Code, to accurately map the location.