How To: Troubleshoot common geocoding problems when using ArcSDE


Instructions provided describe how to troubleshoot common problems when using geocoding in ArcSDE.


  • Problem: Cannot locate an address:

    A. Has a geocoding index been built? It starts with GC_xxx. There may be more than one.
    - Find the geocoding index table for an ArcSDE Geocoding Service using the command line.
    - Determine which geocoding indexes go with which geocoding service using ArcCatalog.

    B. Make sure the index has been updated, if any edits have been performed to the reference data. This can be done by running the 'Rebuilding geocoding indexes' tool in ArcToolbox.
    - Rebuild geocoding indexes.

    C. Make sure the address being searched for has been posted into the default version, and that the database has been compressed.
    -Compress a Geodatabase.

    D. In order for users other than the owner to use the Address Locator, select access must be granted on the geocoding index table.
    - Why is the use of an address locator geocoding service in ArcSDE limited to the owner?

    E. Many problems are also caused by the geocoding process itself, review the article below for more.
    - Geocoding service is unable to find an address.
  • Problem: Can’t Update Geocoding Index:

    A. Delete the existing index, just the index, not the address locator, and create a new one using the 'Rebuild Geocoding Indexes' tool. See step 1A above to determine which geocoding index corresponds to which locator.

    B. Make sure that the Address Locator is not in use by another application.

    C. Make sure that you are the owner of the Address Locator.
  • Problem: Experiencing Slow Performance:

    A. Make sure that the geocoding index is up-to-date by rebuilding it. See step 1B above.

    B. Versioned reference data is much slower than non-versioned data.

    C. A geocoding service in ArcSDE may be faster than a geocoding service in ArcMap, or vice versa.

    D. ArcGIS 9.0 and 9.1 are notoriously slow when geocoding in a Geodatabase; exporting the layers to a shapefile may speed things up immensely.
  • Problems while creating custom geocoding styles:

    A. After the styles have been modified, they must be imported into ArcSDE.
    - Please see the ArcSDE Command Reference under 'sdegcdrules'.

    B. Review the Geocoding Development Kit for help with custom geoding styles.
    - Geocoding Development Kit
  • If none of the steps above help to solve the problem, please provide the following when contacting ESRI Support Services:

    A. A screen shot of the Geocoding Service Properties dialog box.

    B. A sample of the data used in the geocoding service.

    C. Geocoding Error Logs.
    - Enable Geocoding Error Logging.

    D. ArcSDE Error Logs. These can found in the %SDEHOME%\etc directory.

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