I have thousands of polygons I would like to merge together over an area in the shape of a rectangle (like a puzzle, but with some pieces having a depth of 40 on top of eachother). I then want to cut this merged (or dissolved) polygon based on a grid of squares I have created (like a cookie cutter). I have the grid in both lines and polygons if that makes a difference.
Do i need to merge all of the polygons (puzzle pieces) first, and then try to cut them via a tool based on the grid? Or, can I place the grid on top of all of the polygons (pre merge) and do a spatial dissolve based on the squares in the grid?
There are close to 100,000 pieces in the original puzzle, so a merge isn't as easy as Select All, Merge, and I will have to do this more than once in the future.
If I can clear this up or paint a better picture, please let me know where the confusion lies.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I am using ArcInfo 10.4