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Introducing Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS: A Workbook Approach to Learning GIS, 3rd Edition by Michael D. Kennedy

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Address Locators

The second piece required for converting a set of addresses to a set of latitude-longitude coordinates is a mechanism for parsing the addresses so that queries to a TIGER-style database18 will be recognized by the database. With ArcGIS this takes the form of creating an “address locator.” You kick the process off in ArcCatalog by finding Address Locators in the Catalog Tree, expanding it, and double-clicking on Create New Address Locator. This opens a window that allows you to pick an address locator style. The idea here is to provide information about the general format of addresses in the region of interest. You have more than three dozen different styles to pick from. Your choice depends on the structure of your reference data and what the form of address in the region of interest looks like.

Once the choice of address locator is made, you will encounter a dialog box that will let you specify a number of parameters that will allow the form of your input addresses to be matched with the form of the locations in the reference database. If you are only typing one or a few addresses into the address locator, you can monitor whether or not you were successful. If you have a large file of addresses to find, however, the problem gets a little stickier. Some addresses may pass muster and be represented on the map; others may be rejected. Still others may find close, but not exact, matches. These latter ones are assigned a score as to the closeness of the match, based ...

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