Tan created using autocomplete polygon, blue is original

I am trying to find a way to create one polygon from separate polygons but I need to eliminate the interior lines without using the dissolve tool because I need to keep attribute fields. I tried using the autocomplete tool but that would take a very long time to go through every neighborhood in the city. Is there a way to create this outer boundary (tan polygon) from separate polygons (blue polygon) and eliminate the interior lines without the dissolve tool?

  • 2
    if you merge two polygons, you will have only one row for the attributes, so you will lose attribute values. If you want to hide the lines, this can be done with the symbology. Could you give more details about the purpose of "removing the lines" – radouxju Feb 27 '15 at 15:12
  • I need it to be one solid polygon so it is easily readable for our planning department instead of seeing numerous different pieces. The blue polygon is what it would look like now. The tan is what I need the outer boundary to look like but I need to eliminate the interior lines also. – elagarde Feb 27 '15 at 18:28
  • could you specify what kind of attribute you expect in the final block ? Keeping in mind that 1 feature = 1 row – radouxju Feb 27 '15 at 19:22
  • at minimum the name field – elagarde Feb 27 '15 at 19:52
  • I think you'll have to digitize some of this. You have disconnected polygons that you want to display as with one contiguous border. Not saying it can't be done otherwise, but I don't know any way to get around this except manually. Make a copy of your neighborhood polygons to be safe, then trace along the borders, bridging the gaps. Then you can add fields to the new layer, do a spatial join, and populate the new fields from there. You'll have to pick fields where all values are the same, such as (presumably) name, or else settle on fields from just one of the pre-existing polygons. – recurvata Feb 27 '15 at 20:52

I believe you want the Aggregate Polygons tool, though it requires an Advanced license. The same thing can be partially accomplished with the Dissolve tool (manual editing is required to fill in the holes). The key is that after you create your new single polygon, you'll need to use an attribute Join or the Join Field tool to incorporate the necessary attributes from your original shapes to the new one. The help page linked above for Aggregate Polygons describes this with the optional Out_Table parameter.

Aggregate Polygons will solve the 'street hole' issue that Dissolve will not. However Dissolve can also do some attribute statistics (say adding values from each piece to get the value for the whole) which Aggregate won't.

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