Frequently asked question

What is the difference between new and classic address locators?

Last Published: March 29, 2023


Classic address locators are built using the Create Address Locator geoprocessing tool. This tool is available in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. ArcGIS Pro 2.6.x is the last release with the Create Address Locator geoprocessing tool. Classic address locators can also be published as geocoding services to versions of ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1 and earlier. Classic locators are fully deprecated in Pro 3.0 and will be considered invalid, see: Geocoding Deprecation

For more information on classic address locators, refer to ArcGIS Pro: Create Address Locator (Geocoding) or ArcMap: Create Address Locator.

New address locators are built using the Create Locator geoprocessing tool. This tool is available exclusively in ArcGIS Pro, starting with release 2.3. New locators cannot be used in ArcMap unless published as a geocoding service to ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6.1 or later, then consumed through a service connection in the Catalog.
Additionally, new locators:

  • support suggestions when used locally in ArcGIS Pro Locate pane
  • return suggestions with verified house numbers and subunits
  • allow you to create a single locator using multiple data layers called a multirole locator instead of creating a composite locator.

The ArcGIS World Geocoding Service is published from a new locator. Historically, StreetMap Premium included both new and classic locators, but as of the first 2021 release, only new locators are included in StreetMap Premium downloads. Refer to ArcGIS StreetMap Premium: Classic locators deprecation for more information.

To determine whether a locator is classic or new, view the locator in Windows File Explorer. Classic locators contain three files: .loc, .lox, and .loc.xml, as shown below.

a classic locator containing .loc, .lox, and .loc.xml files

New locators contain two files: .loc and .loz, as seen in the following image.

a new locator containing .loc and .loz files

Classic locators are created using address locator styles, such US Address-Dual Ranges, US Address-Single House, and General-Gazetteer. New locators have primary locator roles instead, such as PointAddress, StreetAddress, and Point of Interest.

Composite Locators

New and classic locators can both be combined to form a single composite locator through the Create Composite Address Locator tool. However, the locators in the composite must all be of the same type: a single composite locator cannot contain both new and classic locators. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Pro: Create Composite Address Locator (Geocoding) or ArcMap: Creating a composite address locator.

Feature Locators

In ArcGIS Pro, you can search for features using a name or attribute value, such as such as water meters, short place-names, cell towers, or alphanumeric strings, see: Create Feature Locator and Create Feature Locator (Geocoding) for more information.


Article ID:000025651

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