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Instructions provided describe how to create a region map without internal boundaries using the Dissolve tool in the Data Management > Generalization toolset. The article uses the 'states' theme found in the arcgis\Bin\TemplateData\USA directory as an example. In this example, U.S. state boundaries are removed, but regional boundaries (Pacific, Mountain, etc.) are retained and the regions are symbolized.
This article does not address region polygons. See the ArcGIS Desktop Help for more information.
Create the region map by dissolving the features based on an attribute in the theme table. Dissolving combines all the features with the same value into one feature without internal boundaries. The 'states' theme in this example uses a Sub_region field to dissolve the features.
For version 10.x, the states layer is in a file geodatabase that can be found in the C:\Program Files(x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.x\TemplateData\USA feature dataset
An ArcInfo license is necessary to work with coverages and to use the Dissolve tool in the Coverage Tools > Data Management > Generalization toolset.
Multiple fields can be used to dissolve features.
For more information about the Dissolve tool, type 'Dissolve tool' on the Index tab of the ArcGIS Desktop Help.