The Merge Tool combines data from multiple sources and puts them into a new data set with the same shape type (points, lines, or polygons).
The clip tool cuts out an input layer to a defined feature boundary. Like a cookie-cutter, the output is a new clipped data output and subset.
The spatial join tool inserts the columns from one feature table to another based on location or proximity. It can affix one or many fields to the target.
The buffer tool (planar/geodesic) generates a polygon around features at a set distance. Here are the differences between ring, geodesic & euclidean buffers.
The Dissolve Tool combines adjacent boundaries based on common attribute values – only if neighbor polygons have the same dissolving attribute.
The Union tool combines input data layers into a single composite layer, preserving the boundaries and attributes from all input features.
The Intersect Tool in GIS performs a geometric overlap. All features and attributes that overlap will become part of the output feature class.
The Append Tool adds data from one or more sources of data and puts it into an existing target dataset, without creating a new dataset.
The Erase Tool removes the area that is overlapping with the erasing features. Everything outside the erasing layer ends up in the output.
So you want to geoprocess like a GIS guru, do you? From clipping to buffering, you will learn the basic GIS processing tools along with uses & applications