I don't like the fact that lately most questions relate to some software specific issues. I mean sure, thats where people get stuck probably, i asked some of them myself. But they re not those kind of questions which would perhaps shed light on some GIS concepts, methodologies, analyses,... questions that would make someone better at understanding GIS, carthography, and other related topics. I dont know what the aim of the site is, but i would like to see more of those. So, how could we encourage more non-software related questions?
I agree that the most interesting questions are the ones where analytical problems are posed, rather than error messages. However, I think you are seeing trends in the field. Another issue specific to this site is that open-ended questions are discouraged when, in fact, they are often really interesting questions--yet, people are hesitant to ask them because they will be penalized and sent off to community wiki land (Example 1 and Example 2). Finally, you will notice that many of the most experienced people on this site exclusively answer questions and never ask them. I think these experienced GIS/RS professionals may be the best potential (and untapped) source of interesting and thought provoking questions.
If you go back through and look at some of the older questions with high vote, view and favorite counts you will find many "canonical" GIS conceptual/analytical/cartographic questions. Many of the kinds of questions that you are talking about have already been answered here and so new questions on some of those topics tend to be closed as duplicates.
Here is a StackExchange Data Explorer query you can use to find questions on GIS.se with > 10 votes and > 10 favorites.
Another option would be to ask the types of questions that you like to see more of. Sometimes, you just have to do it and hope that others will follow.
The AIM of the site is:
The Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is for questions concerning geographic information systems and science. We welcome cartographers, database administrators, geographers, programmers, and anyone interested in or using GIS.
Most users only have access to a specific GIS software platform. Hence the specific software is basing their question. Tags are used to filter your own favourites.
Yes there are a lot of ArcGIS/AutoCAD users - they are the biggest group(s) of users.
QGIS is gaining popularity as it matures and becomes more user friendly and customisable.
Concepts on GIS techniques are discussed.
Upvoting is the primary method to encourage any type of question. Maybe we need a "non-software" tag to make it easier to browse these questions?
I figured people with vested interest in commercial drone operation would weigh in on this question. But that hasn't happened (yet).
When a popular open-source GIS software package, QGIS, uses GIS SE as a tech support forum, then software questions/issues will be frequent questions on the site.
This is simply an observation, and not meant to belittle QGIS or this practice.
Opening up an old thread, but I had a similar question in mind, but decided not to ask after opening up a new question and seeing on the sidebar:
We prefer questions that can be answered, not just discussed.
The word 'prefer' does not forbid open-ended or discussion type questions from being asked. But that statement highly dissuades me from asking such a question.
I would like a place to come for advice or direction from people with more experience. I am the only person in my office that works with GIS. Although I might not have a software/hardware issue to specifically ask about, sometimes I could greatly benefit by running a general idea by you guys.
Should I look elsewhere for a discussion/idea community, and use GIS.SE for asking/answering specific GIS questions?
How am I supposed to ask questions on things that I don't know exist? Just my two cents.
To do what op is suggesting would make Stack Exchange sites in general about learning and that's not what SE is for. SE is for collecting good questions. That's pretty dumb if you ask me, but it is what it is.
It would help if there were some sort of learning element here though.