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I am trying to find out how many registered sex offenders live within 2,000 feet of a school/park in a specific county. The park buffer and school buffer are dissolved but not together. I am also trying to find the area in acres of the 2 combined buffer zones.

I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.

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Are these buffers a shapefile or a Geodatabase Feature Class? You can Union these together then dissolve. If Shapefile, you will need to calculate the area but if this is a GDB feature class you can obtain the area from the attributes table. – Jakub Oct 17 '11 at 19:31
If they are two separate layers, you can use the Merge tool in ArcToolbox (Data Management Tools > General > Merge) to combine them (as Jakub says, Union will work too), then use Dissolve (Geoprocessing menu > Dissolve) on the resulting layer and leave the "Dissolve Fields" blank. That will give you one polygon feature that covers all the area covered by the buffers. – Dan C Oct 17 '11 at 20:26
I think both of these comments should be answers. See this thread on Meta GIS.SE:… – Casey Oct 17 '11 at 23:02
@Casey - I need more information to make it an actual answer. I am providing suggestion based on limited information so it's not really an answer. – Jakub Oct 18 '11 at 13:54

no real need to do all that work to combine them.
you can do a select by location find the so within 2000 ft of park buf
then add to selection for the so within 2k of school buf.
run statistics on both buffer layers and add the 2 numbers.
3 minutes tops

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