I am working with ArcMap 10.3 using a Basic license.

The Problem:
I have a vast number of sequential, individual polygons that I need to merge into larger pieces.
Every piece that contains the same identity number needs to be merged into one large shape representing the whole.

What I have:
What I need: enter image description here
The Question:
What tools do I have access to that can accomplish this?
My options are very limited, using a Basic license level.
Thousands of these edits will need to be made. Drawing each piece by hand, as I did for my example picture, is a last resort.

  • The Dissolve tool will convert multiple polygons into a single polygon based on a common attribute, but that will create a multi-part polygon if the pieces aren't overlapping or adjacent. I don't know of any tool that will automatically fill in a gap between 2 polygons, as in your example.
    – Bjorn
    Jun 8, 2017 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


Are your polygons nicely aligned like in the example? If so, dissolve the polygons based on ID numbers so you get multi-part features. Then use the minimum bounding geometry tool to create rectangles around those features. Edit the data to replace the multi-parts with the minimum bounding geometry. These tools only require a basic license.

  • Excellent suggestion! The end result of your process does result in what i'm after. I'll continue testing and see if I can work this into Model Builder.
    – Nomkins
    Jun 8, 2017 at 18:32
  • It works! I was able to create a model and automate the process. Now I just select what I want to 'merge', click a button, and it is done! Thank you so much, this is a massive help to me. I had never heard of the "Minimum Bounding Geometry" tool before. Very neat.
    – Nomkins
    Jun 8, 2017 at 19:32

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