Skip To Content

Configure a custom geocoder

Geocoding is the process of transforming a description of a location—such as a pair of coordinates, an address, or the name of a place—to a location on the earth's surface. ArcGIS Maps for Office uses the default geocoder your administrator configured in ArcGIS.

Esri provides you the ability to locate addresses, cities, landmarks, business names, and other places in more than 100 countries around the world. By default, ArcGIS Maps for Office uses the Esri World Geocoding Service to locate point features (such as addresses, United States cities, and world cities), and the Esri GeoEnrichment Service to locate polygon and polyline features (such as ZIP Codes, states, provinces, and countries). An ArcGIS administrator can also create custom geocoders to identify specific boundaries, such as water districts or zoning boundaries, and set any of the custom geocoders as the default. ArcGIS Maps for Office automatically uses the geocoder that the administrator configured as the default geocoder within your ArcGIS organization.

For details about how ArcGIS Maps for Office maps location information, see the following:

When properly configured, ArcGIS Enterprise also uses the World Geocoding Service hosted on ArcGIS but only geocodes point features by default. If your organization plans to geocode lines or polygons, your administrator must explicitly configure ArcGIS Enterprise to do so. For example, if your organization has its own locator data that defines sales district boundaries (or if your portal does not have access to ArcGIS Online), your administrator can publish a geocode service and set it as your portal's geocode utility service.

It is important to note that configuring a custom geocoder must be carried out by an administrator with access to ArcGIS for Desktop and other administrative tools. ArcGIS Maps for Office users can access a custom geocoder when creating a map after the geocoder has been created and published.


To use a custom geocode service on ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Maps for Office requires a hosting server on the portal.

To configure a custom geocode service, do the following:

  1. Using ArcGIS Desktop, create an address locator.
  2. Publish the locator as a service.

    On ArcGIS Enterprise, publish the service directly to the ArcGIS Enterprise hosting server.

  3. Add the locator URL to your ArcGIS utility services.

    The custom locator is ready to use with ArcGIS Maps for Office when you add a map layer from Excel. For detailed information, see Add a custom location type.