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I have a dataset with addresses that I need to map of students. The dataset has the complete address. I am just trying to show pins of where these students exist on a map. I am trying to create an address locator in ArcGIS (Desktop and Pro) (which is what I think I need but I could be wrong). But to create an address locator, you need a reference file. I don't see anything in help on where to obtain these files. I tried to download some TIGer files from the census but the ones I found didn't seem to have the required fields I needed for my address search. Where do you get these reference files?

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You don't necessarily need to build your own address locator. Though if you want to do so, I'd suggest your state department of transportation (I see that you are located in the US) for publicly-available road/address range data that you can use in your locator.

You could also use a geocoding service. Two such possibilities are:

  1. The ArcGIS Online Geocoding Service
  2. The US Census Bureau's Census Geocoder, which has a 10,000 record limit per batch.
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  • Thanks, the ArcGIS Geocoder did exactly what I needed. The help link was key. – done_merson Dec 21 '18 at 20:11
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For anyone that needs to download a state level Tiger road network (2019 the most recent version available) I have created these and made them available at nominal cost at the following site: https://tiger2019.dpdcart.com/. The files have been created to simplify the effort of downloading and merging the county level shp files available from ftp2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2019/ADDRFEAT. Have also added the associated county and state information to the files.

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