Updating your reference data

Most organizations update or change the geometry and attribute table related to the reference data on a regular basis. This is a basic part of keeping the data current. New subdivisions or streets might be added, alternate names might be used for streets, or a location name might have become commonplace. Additional regions or districts might be added to the database, or previous errors may have been corrected. Each of these changes will alter the reference data. To geocode addresses against the current version of the reference data, the address locator must be rebuilt if you want to update the changes in the locator.

Updating your address locator

While it is desirable to modify, correct, or otherwise augment your map data, address locators will not be automatically updated with the changes. An address locator is a snapshot of the reference data, and it becomes independent from the reference data once it is created. If you want to refresh the locator with the changes you make in the reference data, you need to create a new locator or rebuild the existing one.

Address locators can be rebuilt in ArcCatalog or using the Rebuild Address Locator geoprocessing tool.

Learn more about rebuilding address locators in ArcCatalog

Learn more about rebuilding address locators using a geoprocessing tool


When using versioned data within an ArcSDE geodatabase, the address locator can be created on the selected version of the data. Open the Address Locator Properties dialog box and click Advanced to view the version information of the reference data used for the locator. If you rebuild the locator, it will be rebuilt based on the same version of the database that was originally used for the locator.

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