Based on the voting results for this question, Should cloud software be permitted in the "free software" question?, recommendations for cloud software should not be allowed in that question. How should we carry out the decision?

Instead of a simple yes/no answer like the above question, I will leave this question open ended so that the best/most voted proposal is implemented.

To help start getting some of the details filled in, I have the following questions/concerns:

  • Should a new question be created for cloud software, or should an existing question, such as Looking for a FREE Cloud based 'Web Mapping Stack' Host be used? If a new question is to be created, who creates it? A regular user, a moderator, or the Community user?
  • Should (and can) existing answers, e.g. the ColorBrewer recommendation, in the original question be migrated to the new question?
  • Should the new question discuss only "free" solutions, or are paid solutions allowed as well?
  • Should there be any ground rules set up regarding the disclosure of sign-up requirements, need for credit card/payment information, time/data/other limits, automatic fees, advertising, privacy concerns, etc.?
  • Please see my comment in PolyGeo's answer re: why the ColorBrewer answer should not be migrated to a Cloud question.
    – user3461
    Oct 24, 2013 at 12:25
  • 2
    I think the FREE Cloud based Web Mapping Stack host question is too narrow and well defined for use as a good cloud recommendations community wiki
    – user3461
    Oct 24, 2013 at 12:27
  • I only found two answers that I think are off-topic, one about CartoDB/MapBox and one about mapsdata. I think rather than downvoting these, a moderator should migrate them to the new question, once it is created, if that is possible.
    – blah238
    Oct 24, 2013 at 17:17
  • One more that is probably off-topic is the one about Google Tasks.
    – blah238
    Oct 24, 2013 at 17:31
  • I went ahead and accepted an answer since there doesn't appear to be any additional activity. Based on this, existing answers don't need to be moved over to the new thread, but we should encourage (by downvoting/commenting) new answers to go into the appropriate thread.
    – blah238
    Nov 1, 2013 at 20:47
  • I also made sure both questions prominently reference/link to each other so that it is clear what types of answers are appropriate for each.
    – blah238
    Nov 1, 2013 at 20:53

3 Answers 3


I would keep it simple:

  1. Based on what looks like a decisive vote, rollback the question to the state before cloud-based became part of it. I think any of many of us can do that.
  2. Leave defining any new question to whoever asks it - everyone is free to comment and upvote/downvote based on whether they think questions are clear and well scoped, and whether answers are applicable.

A new question should be created, and given that it is coming about owing to the fact that free cloud software is being excluded from the "what free (desktop) software is recommended by/for the GIS community" question, it should be something along the lines of

"What free or open source cloud-based software is recommended by/for the GIS community?"

Like the "desktop-only" question, it would allow GIS or non-GIS tools and allow user or developer tools -- anything that GIS folks have found useful. The only restriction: it must be free and non-desktop.

Presumably, offending answers from the "desktop-only" question should be moved. (I don't know how that works.)

As to who should ask it, I don't understand why that's an issue (I'm still inexperienced at SE). I thought anyone may ask questions. I'm happy to do it.

I'd rather not address those "ground rules" about not-quite-free stuff. It shouldn't be a problem.

  • I feel weary of opening a new question, because I have no need of it. There is no point in seeding questions if it is not going to be useful. On the other hand, If someone feels that the question and its answers are useful, (s)he should ask the question. 'Pre' supposing that such a question would be useful, would lead to unnecessary questions being posted, which just increases the noise to signal ratio. Oct 25, 2013 at 3:42
  • Just to clarify, My previous comment, was trying to explain why none of us have opened/asked this question. It does not mean that If such a question is posted, I would question its validity. Oct 25, 2013 at 3:50
  • 2
    I have asked it at gis.stackexchange.com/questions/75519/…
    – Martin F
    Oct 25, 2013 at 18:54

I have rolled the question back to the edit that preceded this entire discussion, based on the results of the vote.

Anyone should be able to ask a new question like "what cloud services does the GIS community use/recommend?"

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