Getting an address from a location

You can use the Address Inspector tool Address Inspector to click on a map and get the address of the location. This process is often called reverse geocoding.

The Address Inspector tool uses an address locator or composite locator to find the address of a point on a map.

  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Add an address locator or composite locator to the map. If you have multiple address locators already added to the map, select the locator you want to use in the first drop-down list on the Geocoding toolbar.
  3. Add a feature class or image layer that you want to use as the background. The feature class must have the same spatial reference as the locator.
  4. Click the Address Inspector tool Address Inspector on the Geocoding toolbar.
  5. Hold down the left mouse button over any location. The address that is closest to the location will be displayed in a ToolTip.

    Address Inspector result

    If the locator is a composite locator, an address is returned from the first participating locator.


    While holding down the mouse button with the cursor on the map, you can press one of the keys listed below to perform additional tasks. (You can also see these key assignments in the ArcMap status bar when the mouse button is held down.)

    • K—Copy the address to the clipboard.
    • P—Add a graphic point to the address location. The graphic symbol is specified on the Draw toolbar.
    • L—Add a labeled point to the address location.
    • O—Add a callout at the address location.

  6. If the address locator supports matching intersection addresses, you can switch the search result to just return intersections. To do so, right-click the map to display the context menu and click Search Intersections. You can switch back to returning street address results by following the same procedure but choosing Search Street Addresses instead.
  7. You can change the format of the text in the ToolTip from a long display, which includes field names, to a short display, which excludes field names, by clicking Short Tooltip Display in the tool's context menu.

    Address Inspector context menu

  8. If an address is not returned, you can increase the search distance so that a larger area from the cursor is searched.
    1. Right-click any location on the map and click Set Search Distance.

      A circle that represents the search distance appears on the map.

    2. Move the cursor in any direction to extend (or shorten) the radius of the circle and click the left mouse button again when the radius is the length that you want for your search tolerance.
      Setting the search distance
  9. NoteNote:

    If you want to find addresses for all the point features in a feature class, you can use the Reverse Geocode geoprocessing tool. The tool creates a new feature classes containing additional fields for the returned addresses.