I noticed today, that the tag gis has been used 32 times at present. As everything on this site about GIS, or it's offtopic and should be migrated elsewhere or deleted, I'm curious as to why it's being used.

What is in your mind when you decide adding that particular tag will help differentiate it from the soup? That it will add meaning?

In my opinion the tag should be simply deleted as it's meaningless to me here, but if there actually is a point to it, please illuminate!

  • I agree with you on one level, particularly if the posed questions deals with how to do something within a GIS. There are a number of questions, however, that are more general in nature (ie cartographic or numeric) which could comfortably apply outside the GIS realm. I suspect its use/overuse is an attempt to be able to query this site on issues relating specifically to GIS related questions, whether they be specific to a particular platform or to GIS in general.
    – user681
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 23:35
  • 1
    @Dan If a question truly were about something non-GIS, it would be off topic!
    – whuber
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 7:02
  • Stackoverflow has a programming tag, even though the first sentence on the about page says "Stack Overflow is a programming Q & A site...". Still there are currently only 7 questions with this tag. See discussion here. Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 13:30
  • Just saw this discussion about blacklisting tags, do we need that? Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 13:36
  • @Kirk A blacklist could easily be circumvented: a frustrated user could just spell things a little differently. What started this thread, I suspect, was my experimental attempt to deprecate the "GIS" tag by editing its Wiki excerpt. That is intended to warn people off (and maybe over time we can delete the 32 instances of the tag's use). However, it's unclear to me whether this warning will actually work. What would help is a way to guide people, not just frustrate them, when they attempt to use meaningless tags (or create new ones).
    – whuber
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 17:35
  • I know that, when I used it, it was for lack of having any tags I felt really fit my question specifically. (In reference to gis.stackexchange.com/questions/7758/…). And those who are new probably don't think about how redundant it is to tag something with GIS on a GIS site. I sure didn't.
    – Nathanus
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


Ah, yes.

  1. I removed all instances of the tag. (This can lead to questions being tagged but I doubt it in this case)

  2. I added to the "intrinsic" tags for the site. This does not technically prevent it from being created again, but it does give hints to question migrations across sites and so forth about suitability.

If the tag comes back let me know by commenting here.

  • 1
    Thanks, Jeff. I retagged the three open "orphans."
    – whuber
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 19:12

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