Automating Address Points

By Robert Meier

Address points are a valuable and versatile dataset in any GIS. Uses can range from simple address searches to population estimation. Initially, address points can be created from existing parcel polygon center points and then built on to include locations like apartment and commercial space units.

Addresses are the default search criteria used for most GIS applications. Address searches are usually based on linear street segments with address ranges. Interpolation is used to find addresses, which can create inaccurate locations. Address points are placed in exact locations and have the exact address information, thus a more accurate result. An example of this is shown below in green.


Address points can also be used in mapping applications to provide a better user experience. Clicking on a map multiple times to discover what boundaries an address falls into can be a frustrating task, especially when many boundaries overlap.


Building an address point dataset and applying geographic descriptors to each address is similar to using an internet search engine. Address points can be related to boundaries and information from the boundary can be transferred to address points. Search results can also contain links to other sites including county property and elected officials.


However, because addresses and geographic boundaries change so regularly, maintaining an address point dataset can be a challenge. That’s why TREKK developed an automated address point maintenance system through Python scripting, which reads a configuration file and copies fields and attributes from listed polygon-based datasets to the target address points. The process requires the address points to be loaded onto ArcGIS Online, but the other polygon-based datasets can be stored on a local drive, ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Online.

Check out this simple application built using ESRI’s ArcGIS Online Web App Builder. This sample includes custom pop-up configuration and labeling.

Contact TREKK to learn more about this process and how we can help your community with implementation.

Robert Meier is a GIS Analyst with more than 28 years of GIS experience, ranging from data creation to application development, for municipal governments, public works, water, wastewater and railroad applications.

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