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Dissolve polygon and retain attribute fields

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10-08-2012 07:39 AM
GeospatialTechnology
Occasional Contributor
Hello,

I have merged a number of layers that contain polygons together.

These are from tiles that are adjacent to each other so where two polygons are next to each other there is a line where they both join.

I can dissolve the two polygons into one using the 'Dissolve' tool. However when I do this I lose the attribute information associated with the polygons.

Is there a way around this to combine the polygons without loosing attribute information?
7 Replies
ChrisSnyder
Regular Contributor III
Not sure I totally understand, but just specify the fields you want to keep in the Dissolve field list.
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GeospatialTechnology
Occasional Contributor
If I specify the fields the polygons dont disolve properly and I get a line where they are next to each other
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ChrisSnyder
Regular Contributor III
Features are only dissolved (into a single feature) if their unique value combinations of the fields you specify are the same. Review the Dissolve tool documentation: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00170000005n000000
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BenLeslie1
Regular Contributor

I'm having the same problem - I want to dissolve and I want to keep my attributes.

The tool is very difficult to use - particularly if you have a large number of attributes.  To keep an attribute it must be added to the Statistics Field(s) option - these must be done one-by-one and for each one you also need to select a stats type.  Then when you run the tool all the attribute names are changed - they are prefixed with the stats type you chose - if you're using shapefiles this is bad because you start losing the original atrribute name because of the 10 character limit.

So, is there a way to keep all my original attribute names?

AnneEstoppey
New Contributor

Hello Ben, I realize this is an old question, but I was wondering if you remember how you solved this?

Same issue for me: I would like to keep attributes which have the same values for all my polygons in the resulting dissolved multi-part polygon.
I do have to solve this with arcpy for ArcGis desktop.

Any tips welcome 🙂

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BenLeslie1
Regular Contributor

I don't think the tool works in the way it should - maybe a bug.

I have a polygon layer that contains woods and orchards - it was made by merging a few layers and I have some overlaps.  So I did a union and then a dissolve on centroid value to remove the overlaps (keeping the original FID as a stats attribute) - all working so far. 

Now I want to dissolve touching polys of the same category (wood or orchard), again I want to keep an original FID so I can do a join on the original table, but this time instead of giving me the FIRST FID out of the individual groups of polys that are dissolved together every FID for all Wood polys is the same and every FID for all Orchard poly is the same - this is no good to me - doesn't make sense because it worked correctly on the first dissolve.

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leahmaps
Occasional Contributor II

I also agree that the dissolve tool is not quite right.

How it currently works is any field that goes into "Dissolve Fields" will find the common attribute and dissolve on them. If you do not want something dissolved, it has to go into "Statistics Fields", which wants or prefers number fields.

How people WANT this to function is what you want to dissolve on (say county, or zip code, or car route) be placed into dissolve fields THEN there should be a section for "fields to retain". Then, if you have a field you do not want to dissolve on but want to keep, it can be maintained in the attribute table.