I have a parcel layer I need to dissolve based on Owner OR Postal Address. I know I can always dissolve based on Owner AND Postal Address, but that is not what I need.

enter image description here

So if:

  • owners are different but postal address is the same -> merge

  • postal address is different but owners are the same -> merge

I tried dissolving based on owner, maintaining statistics for postal address, and then dissolving based on postal address, but this is not entirely accurate because the dissolve chooses the first value of postal address it finds among equal owners.

  • ArcMap 10.5, but I am willing to try anything else if it's not possible in ArcGIS suite. – Emma Sep 11 '19 at 19:19
  • I am not clear about what you want the result to look like. If you have two polygons with Amy Smith as owner, but the address of one is 123 Jones St and the other is 456 Indiana Rd and two polygons have 123 Jones St, but the owners are Amy Smith and John Doe how many polygons should be dissolved and what should the attributes be? I would guess this scenario should result in one polygon with the owner attribute being Amy Smith; John Doe and the address being 123 Jones St; 456 Indiana Rd. – Richard Fairhurst Sep 11 '19 at 21:05
  • I added an explanatory drawing. I do not need final attributes, I just need the polygons. And I do not need multipart polygons. – Emma Sep 11 '19 at 21:20
  • The outcome shown only occurs if when you first dissolved on Owner (First?) Name regardless of Address and the Address retained by the "John" set ended up with an Address (Street Name?) that is "2nd Street" or "3rd Street" and then the second dissolve on Address (Street Name?) regardless of owner occurred. There would be only two polygons in the end if the "John" set retained an Address (Street Name?) of "1st Street". What you want probably can only be done using Python, but the rules still seem subjective to me and a variety of results could occur with only minor code order variations. – Richard Fairhurst Sep 11 '19 at 21:39
  • no tool to do it all in one step. just need to do some good old fashioned overlay analysis with two different dissolve products (one for address and one for owner). Identify the ones to keep and merge to a new output. – Zipper1365 Sep 11 '19 at 22:00

Dissolve by A and by B: enter image description here

  1. Merge them. Add field area to result and compute it.
  2. Get centroids of your parcels and spatially join them (1:M) to merged polygons
  3. Sort spatial join in descending order by area and remove duplicate parcel ids.
  4. Transfer JOIN_FID to original parcel layer and dissolve parcels by that attribute.

enter image description here



Can you first do a dissolve based upon address, then select by location those in the original file that have been dissolved, then delete those in the original file. Then do a dissolve based upon name. Again remove those that have been detected from the original file, leaving only parcels with no matches. Then merge all three shapefiles.

  • 1
    I strongly recommend against deleting any polygons. Instead in the two steps where you use the Select By Location tool you should select all of the original polygons and then use the Remove from Selection option to deselect the set of dissolved polygons from one or both dissolve sets. Also, it is critical to use a small negative buffer (i.e., -1 Foot) during the Select by Location operations to avoid removing (or deleting) parcels that just touch the outer boundaries of the dissolved shapes. – Richard Fairhurst Sep 11 '19 at 22:27

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