I want to dissolve a feature class of land use polygons, joining subparcels in larger parcel polygons. I want the parcel polygon to keep the dominant land use of all subparcels, taking into account the surface that each subparcel takes.

Dissolve GP tool lets me calculate statistics over one field (min, max, avg) but I can't find a way to keep the dominant value.

I'm using ArcGIS 10.1

  • to clarify: I dissolve on "parcel id" value. All subparcels belonging to the same parcel share this value. What I want to know is the "dominant land use" within this parcel, by calculating the land use that takes the most area within the parcel
    – tato
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


Create a combined field that contains the Parcel ID and Landuse code. Dissolve on that field. Now you have an area for every unique combination of Parcel ID and Landuse. Sort multiple fields - first Landuse ascending, second SHP_Area descending. Finally, summarize on Parcel ID, expand (plus sign) Landuse code (first), SHP_Area (first or max). That should give you the largest Landuse area for each Parcel ID. Join this back to your original parcel data and calculate over Landuse (and Area if so desired).

Writing this off the top of my head since I'm currently working in Linux, but this should work.


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