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I have a large dataset of habitat classes which I have further simplified down into my own unique classes.

However, it resulted in there being habitats adjacent to each other with the same forest classification system.

Is there any way to join these two (or however many there are touching that are classed as the same type) adjacent polygons into a single larger polygon?

When I use the tool Dissolve, it takes all of the habitats of the same class for the entire map and creates a single polygon.

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Join is probably not the right word. Usually it describes an SQL concept. Dissolve, as @blah234 suggests, is better term, though might not make sense for this question. After all, if you knew the term, you probably wouldn't be asking. So maybe instead of asking about "Joining" it would be better to ask about "Combining". –  Kirk Kuykendall Apr 12 '12 at 22:25
    
Thanks Kirk, I've updated the title for any other fellow novices that need to track this answer down. –  HeidelbergSlide Apr 12 '12 at 23:03
    
Oops, wrong link, here's the link for Join. –  Kirk Kuykendall Apr 13 '12 at 1:53

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Try the Dissolve tool. From the help:

Use the Dissolve tool when you want to aggregate features based on a specified attribute or attributes. For example, you could take a feature class containing sales data collected on a county-by-county basis and use Dissolve to create a feature class containing contiguous sales regions based on the name of the salesperson in each county. Dissolve creates the sales regions by removing the boundaries between counties represented by the same salesperson.

Dissolve by sales region example

To avoid creating multi-part features, uncheck the "Create multipart features" box.

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Sorry, I actually meant to say I had used Dissolve (not Merge as I said). However, after Dissolving the file and then using Multipart to Single Part as mentioned earlier, I think it may have done the trick. Need to further investigate. Thanks! –  HeidelbergSlide Apr 12 '12 at 22:22
    
You can avoid the second step by unchecking "Create multipart features" on the Dissolve tool. –  blah238 Apr 12 '12 at 22:30
    
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks –  HeidelbergSlide Apr 12 '12 at 23:02

You could try MultipartToSinglePart.

I am not sure if it will preserve all attribute information but it is quick to test.

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Hey, thanks. I think a combination of this and Dissolve managed to do it. Thanks for the help. –  HeidelbergSlide Apr 12 '12 at 22:23

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