Hi, I have a set of parcels and I want to create a footprint polygon around multiple parcels to represent a study area. I know this can be achieved visually using symbol levels, but I need it to be a separate dataset. I tried the buffer tool using a very small buffer distance, but there is still empty space in the resulting buffer (see attached). In the past I've created polygons to "cover" the empty space and then merged all the polygons to create a solid polygon, but I was hoping there is a tool that can take care of the process. I'm working with ArcGIS 10.0.
I'm still hoping there is a tool that can do this process, but I found a simpler way to do create a feature footprint using buffers. I created a buffer with a large enough distance to cover the smaller empty spaces, like 500 meters (attach 1). I created another buffer of the 1st buffer using a negative number for the buffer distance, like -500 meters (attach 2), to get back to the extent of the parcels (attach 3). The result isn't a perfect footprint but it works for my purposes and it's quicker than digitizing, merging, etc.