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Creating a Find Places Service

January 29 2009 | 0 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods, Map Data

Thanks for all the help offered with Mapping Centre — would have to be the single most valuable Cartography how to site I've found. Have a bit of a workflow question for you.

In ArcMap we can do a find on feature classes but this obviously requires a feature class to be loaded into the map document. There is also the find places service which uses the ESRI World Gaz but requires an internet connection.

What we would like to do is build our own Find Places service based on our own national data. Is there a way we can format a point feature class and serve this as a service so it appears in this window all the time?

We would also be interested in doing the same with the address search as we have our own national address database which while we can search on points it would be nice to be able to have available all the time.

Look forward to your thoughts on this.

Mapping Center Answer:

This can be done fairly easily with ArcGIS Server.  The idea is to put the layer or layers you want to search on into an MXD--you don't need to symbolize anything.  Serve that MXD as a map service, and enable the query service--no need (on the Capabilities tab of the Map Service Properties dialog box) to have the Map operation checked.  You can then build a query service to search any of the fields in your layer and return the geometry of whatever is found--which can be used to navigate your application or whatever you need.  Our Javascript SDK has a live sample you can check out to see how to code this sort of thing into your application:

http://resources.esri.com/help/9.3/arcgisserver/apis/javascript/arcgis/help/jssamples_start.htm

Just follow the above link and expand the Query task chapter and the first example is the one you want.  Check out the other query examples to more ideas about what you could do with this sort of service.

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