ArcGIS Locator | what3words

Using the what3words ArcGIS Locator across the ArcGIS platform


The what3words ArcGIS Locator brings the functionality of the what3words API to the ArcGIS platform. You can use the Locator throughout the ArcGIS product suite wherever a custom locator can be added. This includes ArcGIS Desktop – ArcCatalog and ArcMap as well as ArcGIS Pro.

On web, you can use the Locator within ArcGIS Online and any products able to connect to Online such as in app using Survey123. Or for GIS developers the ArcGIS APIs and SDKs in the Developer suite can harness the ArcGIS Locator as a REST API.

The Locator gives you the ability to convert to and from coordinates, or more commonly known within ArcGIS as forward/reverse address geocoding. Functionality varies by ArcGIS product so take a look at our tutorials to see how the locator works within ArcGIS.

You will need a what3words API key to complete this tutorial.


Upgrading Locator version

The current version of the what3words Locator is v2.0. For users of what3words Locator v1.0 you will need to upgrade to V2.0 to continue to use the service.

In order to upgrade the Locator you will need to change the following:

URL: Change the URL prefix from to

Username: This should now be your email address

Password: This should now be your API key


Adding to ArcGIS Desktop

The Locator can be added as an ArcGIS web service via ArcCatalog. View our tutorial for the steps to add to ArcCatalog.

Once added, the Locator can be used within the rest of the ArcGIS desktop suite to:


Adding to ArcGIS Online

Once the Locator is added as Content within ArcGIS Online it will be available across ArcGIS Online and any product that connects to ArcGIS Online such as ArcGIS Pro and Survey123.

View our tutorial for the steps to add to ArcGIS Online.

Once added the Locator can be used to:


Adding to ArcGIS Pro

First add the what3words Locator to your ArcGIS Online account.

Once added the Locator will be available IN ArcGIS Pro to:

  • Search for 3 word addresses using the Locate feature
  • Discover a 3 word address by right clicking on the map and selecting “What’s here?”
  • Batch convert between 3 word address and coordinates and coordinates and 3 word addresses using the Toolbox.

Adding to Survey123

Survey123 enables the creation of a survey for use in app out in the field. Adding the Locator to Survey123 allows for 3 word addresses to be collected or viewed when out in the field.

First add the what3words Locator to your ArcGIS Online account. Then you will be able to add to your survey using the GeoPoint feature.




Using within ArcGIS JavaScript API

The what3words ArcGIS Locator can be accessed as a Rest API from the ArcGIS JavaScript API.

For more information on how to call a Locator using the ArcGIS JavaScript API see here.

Recommended ArcGIS tutorials

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Adding the what3words ArcGIS Locator to ArcGIS Online is straightforward. Watch the following tutorial for step-by-step instructions:

You can add the locator as Content in ArcGIS Online and then make it available to your whole organisation as a Utility Service from within the Organization settings. Watch the following tutorial for a step-by-step guide:

The what3words ArcGIS Locator works within apps that connect to ArcGIS Online and accept a custom locator. The locator works with Survey123 and can be used to search and discover 3 word addresses, and add them as a survey question. Watch a step-by-step tutorial here:

The public what3words ArcGIS Locator is available for online applications only. In order to set up an offline version of the Locator you can set up a local version of the Locator alongside our API Server or C++ SDK. Find out more here: https:///

Yes. Our ArcGIS locator provides the same response as our API does for a record in China. You will need to make sure you display the 3 word address in the correct coordinate system that matches your other datasets. If you display the 3 word address on a map, make sure the map is a licensed Chinese map using the correct coordinate system. The standard ArcGIS Online map will work for this purpose.

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