I want to label the names of locations from a shapefile field in ArcMap. I tried to do it by going to Layer Properties>Labels. However, as I have multiple observations per given location, I am getting multiple labels for that location. I have numerous locations over a large area and I don't want labels to clutter the map. Is it possible to display a single label representing each unique location in this situation?
Yes you want to goto labels > placement properties > duplicate labels, and make sure you have checked the radio box for remove duplicate labels, alternatively you could check place one label for feature.
Also there are other map engines like maplex label engine that can do some further refining of your labels.
You can make a dissolve to that shape just for displaying labels, meanwhile maintaining visible the original shape and hiding the symbol for dissolved shape.