I asked this question recently:

Counting overlapping polygons in GeoJSON to result in new set of polygons?

In asking this question elsewhere previously I have encountered two possible solutions. I put those solutions into answers. Moderator iant deleted both of my answers.

I can't find any way to request feedback from that moderator, or to respond to comments on one of those answers to discuss the matter with the other users who were making suggestions. Thus this post.

I have used a lot of other SE sites in the past, but not GIS.SE, so I am curious if things work differently than usual around here. How should I have organized this post? Is there another way I should be following up now?

  • Undeleted both - I did place a comment to merge the answers into one. Please do this for this answer.
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 14:43
  • 1
    @Mapperz they are entirely different answers, why would they be merged?
    – Sparr
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 15:10
  • gis.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 15:14
  • Example: This is a good answer gis.stackexchange.com/questions/67255/…
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 15:17
  • 1
    At least one looked like more information to the question - added to the merge request I just moved them to the question, not an actual delete
    – Ian Turton Mod
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 15:18
  • 6
    Presently the thread in question is in a bit of a mess because (a) your "answers" aren't really answers--they are clarifications of the question--and (b) they duplicate material already in the question. Do you think you could clean this up?
    – whuber
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 18:18
  • 1
    Where else did you ask this question previously to get the two answers that you posted? I think these should be linked to as background to your question so that we can work out whether one of them should simply have had its Question and Answer(s) improved through Edit rather than a new question posted that duplicates that effort.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 22:13
  • @PolyGeo on IRC and to the author of the software I'm using to collect my data
    – Sparr
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 4:19

2 Answers 2


Sparr thank you for opening a Q about procedure here on meta, as opposed to silently fuming or carrying on in comments in the original. It gives everyone a chance to learn (I include myself in that by the way) and is the best way to get feedback to and from moderators.

Although the web page showed you "this answer has been deleted", it was really moved to the question as a comment (and by now from the comments to this meta Q you should have an idea what the motivation was).

It's unfortunate the interface doesn't have different visuals for moved and deleted posts, but that's they way it is at present. (Feel free to post a feature-request on meta stack overflow about this, if one isn't there already).


As I have commented on one of those Answers, on most SE sites and even Stackoverflow, saying

I tried X but it is not helpful because of Y

is conventionally not considered an answer, and should be a part of the question body or a comment.

But if you say

You can try X, but be aware that it has problem Y

then that can be considered as an answer.

There is an important reason for this convention. These Question and answers are meant to not only help you, but also serve as a reference for the future. If there are many answers of the former type, then those will not really be useful to someone who comes to that question from a Google search a few months down the line.
But if we expand the comment to a thoughtful educative answer, that is very helpful contribution to the site.

  • I haven't tried X, and don't plan to, because of Y.
    – Sparr
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 3:51
  • 1
    @Sparr That is a comment, rather than an answer, since it affects just you. Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 4:03
  • I'm making that comment here, to you, to illustrate why your first paraphrasing is inaccurate.
    – Sparr
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 5:18
  • 3
    @Sparr And I am making the point that we are splitting hairs. It will be in the same class as 'I tried X but it is not helpful because of Y'. Both of them should be comments or updates rather than answers Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 5:22

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