Problem: Geocoding service is unable to find an address


When geocoding addresses, either in the Find dialog box in ArcMap or by geocoding and rematching a table of addresses, the geocoding service is unable to find candidates or a match for an address.

At ArcGIS 9.0 release and later,  geocoding services were renamed to address locators.


There are several possible causes for this problem. The most common are related to data quality. In some specific cases, however, this is a limitation of the geocoding engine.

Solution or Workaround

To determine why the geocoding service cannot find an address, use the following checks:

  • Check that the address is spelled correctly. Spelling errors in addresses can cause difficulty, when a geocoding service attempts to generate candidates for an address. For more information on checking address data for spelling errors, refer to the document in the Related Information section.
  • Check that there is a feature in the reference data used by the geocoding service that corresponds to the address that is being geocoded. In many cases, a geocoding service is unable to find an address because there are no suitable candidates in the reference data. If, for example, the address 123 Main Street is being geogoded, ensure that there are features in the reference data with a street name of Main. It is also possible that, while the reference data contains street features with the correct street name and street type, the feature to which the address should match may be missing address range information.
  • Check that the geocoding service standardized the address properly. It is possible to view the standardization that a geocoding service applies to an address, by clicking Show Standardization in the Find dialog box in ArcMap or by looking at the standardization in the Interactive Review dialog box. If the address is not standardized correctly, modify the standardization, and search again for candidates for the address.
  • Check that the reference data used by the geocoding service is standardized properly. If the reference data is not standardized properly (for example, the wrong address components are contained in the wrong fields), then the geocoding service will have difficulty matching addresses against the reference data.
  • If after performing the above steps, there still does not seem to be a match for the address, then it is likely that the ESRI geocoding engine is unable to match the address. This can occur if, for example, a local address style that is being used is significantly different from the standard US street address style. Contact ESRI technical support with the details of the address that cannot be found and the reference data being used. ESRI is continually upgrading the capabilities of the ESRI geocoding engine to include support for specialized address styles.

Related Information