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I have around 700,000 address that I need to geocode. I want to use ESRI online service for the biggest portion (I have an organizational account with credits on it) and then put the bad matches in other online services.

Doing some tests, I realized that the ESRI service prefer matching the zipcode than matching the street and number. In my data, I'm certain that the street address is correct but I'm not certain that the zipcode is correct (in fact, a lot of the times is not).

Example (made up to avoid putting someones address in internet):

  • Original Address: 1250 THOMAS WILSON PKWY, HAMILTON, ONTARIO, J0K OP5, CANADA
  • Winner Match: J0K OP5, CANADA
  • Runner Up Match: 1250 THOMAS WILSON PKWY, HAMILTON, ONTARIO, P7W 3G9, CANADA

I really prefer the runner up (and Google Maps too!). Do you know a way to tell ArcMap to prefer matches with street address on it than matches with zipcode?

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Is it an option to build your own geocoder? I ask because it is a straight-forward process that would save you some credits.

If you're using ArcMap to do your geocoding first we need to know:

  1. What geocoder or reference are you using?
  2. What format do the addresses need to be in? (e.g. is 1250 THOMAS WILSON PKWY, HAMILTON, ONTARIO, J0K OP5, CANADA in one field? Or is it split across three or four fields like ADDRESS, CITY, PROVINCE, POSTAL CODE)

  3. How are you re-matching the addresses that weren't found?

For 1) you need to choose a geocoder style that will find Canadian Addresses, most of the built in options through Esri are American-based and may only match approximate locations (such as postal code) for Canada, however I have not tried their new paid service with credits.

As a potential work around you could remove the postal codes from the address and/or locator and then match the unmatched addresses in a iterative systematic way that would introduce the postal codes at a later process once you are certain there is no address match. The Standardize Addresses tool is a godsend in formatting your addresses that I highly recommend as well.

If you can provide edits to your question with details of 1,2,3 then myself and other answers can go into more detail.

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