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The project I'm working on has been mapping ecological sites in ArcGIS on a quad-by-quad basis for the past 10 years. When entered into GIS, each quad has its own shapefile and the sites are cut off at the quad boundary and start up again on the next quad shapefile.

As you can imagine, after 30 different quads have been mapped, it is a pain to view the project as a whole because all 30 shapefiles have to be added to the map individually.

Currently, I am working on combining all of the data into one shapefile. It's easy enough to copy all of the quads into one file, but now there are still quad boundaries on the map dividing what should be single polygons that are just on different quads. Unfortunately, there are no unique values in the table to dissolve on.

How can I dissolve the boundaries between the adjacent shapefiles?

closed as unclear what you're asking by PolyGeo Sep 25 '18 at 10:29

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    What do you mean with "unfortunatly there are no unique values"? Have mappers used different values for same categories, is the table structure different? Prior dissolving polygons their attribute table properties should be unified. – Detlev Jan 8 '16 at 6:13
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    I no differing values exist then why does it matter? you have no differentiation. You could just dissolve everything into one polygon. – If you do not know- just GIS Jan 11 '16 at 14:24
  • Thanks for the comments, I'll try to be a bit more specific! So, I dissolved on the Name field with "create multipart features" unchecked which would have been fine and dandy since it joined adjacent polygons with the same name. However, the naming standard for private land is to create individual polygons for each land owner and to give each of these the name "out". This becomes a problem when there is a clump of private land polygons since, when the dissolve is run, they are all combined into one polygon and they need to remain separate. I want to figure out if there is a way around this? – Amanda Jan 11 '16 at 17:32
  • Please use the edit button beneath your question to revise it with any requested or additional information. – PolyGeo Sep 25 '18 at 10:29