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My objective is very similar to these questions: here and here. The only real difference is I want to merge overlapping polygons if they are of the same class (an attribute).

For example, if polygons of different classes A and B overlap, they should be left as is, while if both are A or both are B, they should merged/dissolved.

                                            geometry  class
0  POLYGON ((233572.138 2710742.125, 233576.808 2...    A
1  POLYGON ((233539.259 2710809.727, 233543.978 2...    A
2  POLYGON ((233509.510 2710826.481, 233514.245 2...    A
3  POLYGON ((233571.415 2710766.758, 233576.102 2...    B

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Use the geoprocessing tool Dissolve. In its window, you'll be able to select which fields you want to dissolve. Hope it helps!

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