The tag (x 52 posts) has the following excerpt:

The dimensions represented by each cell or pixel in a raster or the detail with which a map depicts the location and shape of geographic features.

It is clearly referring to spatial resolution. At a quick glance, all threads seems to fit under the excerpt guidance.

Could we rename that tag to spatial-resolution?

So, it would not be confused in the future with other types of resolutions, such as temporal, spectral and radiometric.


There is also the tag (x 9). Likewise, resolution, this tag refers to only spatial information:

  • resolution of rasters.
  • scale of maps.
  • 1
    @ChrisW points out in his answer there there is another *resolution* tag of map-resolution also in use. Would you be able to expand your question into a proposal that suggests how those questions also be handled, please?
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 22:30
  • I think you are proposing to 1. Create new tag spatial-resolution 2. make resolution a synonym of spatial-resolution 3. make map-resolution a synonym of spatial-resolution.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 4:11
  • @PolyGeo, I was talking about renaming, but not sure if it's any different of making synonyms. Maybe, this is more complex than I initially thought because there is the concept of map (vector) scaling which I initially overlooked. Perhaps, generalising the tag excerpt and wiki, as suggested by ChrisW, to cover all types of resolutions (spatial, spectral, temporal, radiometric) and scaling of maps could be a way out. Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 11:31
  • With synonyms, both tags remain in the system but whenever someone types the synonym it is automatically changed to the 'main' tag. With a rename/merge, the original tag is removed/converted to the new tag. Synonyms are best for correcting frequently made typing mistakes/standardizing on one of multiple terms, while a rename/merge is more a one-time correction. For example qgis2.2 should really be renamed qgis-2.2 to be standard/consistent, but you don't really want to maintain synonyms for every possible non-standard way of typing 'software name / version' as auto-suggest covers that.
    – Chris W
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 19:56
  • 1
    That How to rename a tag Q&A was useful. I "discovered" the method described in its note to moderators yesterday when I "renamed" opengeosuite to opengeo-suite yesterday.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


Not all questions with that tag refer to raster data though that does seem to be the most common thread. Perhaps the Wiki should just be edited to something like 'the granualarity of data samples' or 'the smallest distinguishable unit of measure in data' (expanded on both counts). I'm just wondering if generalizing the existing tag definition would be better than creating additional more specific tags. And whether current or potential future frequency of application of those tags would warrant their creation or reservation now.

I do note a tag (x9) that seems fairly synonymous - in fact both are applied to about half the questions.

So I would propose that be made synonym of , and the Wiki of that be changed to something like:

Resolution is a measure of the smallest unit or sample in data that can be distinguished from any other, and/or the number of samples for a given unit.

In GIS this often refers to spatial or ground resolution of raster cells or pixels. For example SRTM data can be available at resolutions of 90m or 30m, where one cell with a single, constant elevation value is assigned to a square on the ground 90m or 30m on a side. Satellite imagery is often discussed in terms of resolution, where one image pixel represents 0.5m (high), 15m (mid), or 30m (low). Descriptors such as 'high' and 'low' are somewhat arbitrary, but demonstrate resolution values have a range or spectrum similar to map scales ('large' and 'small').

However resolution also applies to the values measured for that ground distance. In the case of SRTM there is also a vertical resolution since that data measures elevation. Contour lines can easily demonstrate this - each line in the data may represent a difference of 1m, 5m, or 100m. Other resolution type examples include spectral (width on the EM spectrum covered by a single band), temporal (time between samples - minutes, days, or years), or radiometric (the strength or magnitude of a signal).

Note that resolution applies to vector data as well as raster or value. The same section of sinuous river could be represented with a dozen points or a hundred. The more samples along the line, the more detail or resolution with which that feature can be represented in the data.

With the first sentence being the Wiki excerpt as well.

  • 2
    My first inclination based on the number of times resolution and map-resolution have been used in over 4 years would be to make the latter a synonym of the former but I'm keen to see @AndreSilva expand his proposal to address map-resolution before I decide which way to vote.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 22:36
  • Expanding the wiki would be nice, as also making map-resolution a synonym of resolution. I'd not favour a separation of concepts such as raster resolution and scaling of vectors, because they are close (and mathematically related). But to stick to the main point on this question, just resolution to refer to spatial features is not quite accurate (imo) when there are other types of resolutions. So, technically this would not be about creating a specific tag, but just assigning a more accurate name to what it already is (cc/ @PolyGeo). Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 2:06
  • 1
    Would you mind to expand your answer, and propose a more general excerpt and wiki to this tag (so it would cover all types of resolutions and scaling of maps)? Tks. Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 11:35
  • 1
    Thanks. I am supporting your suggestion. I'll wait a bit before accepting it, to see if we can get more support on this, or if any competing answer appears. Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:05
  • As a bonus, when you are going to suggest the wiki try to also suggest an excerpt that would summarize and reflect a bit the current changes on this tag. I also suggest you to refer to this thread in the wiki, so there could be 'follow ups' from this discussion. Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 17:32
  • 1
    @AndreSilva It's hard to cover all the details in what should be a short summary. I've gone ahead and proposed the edit mostly as above. I don't know that meta (info about the edit) should be included in the Wiki itself. I did put 'per meta discussion' in my reason block for editing, which should show in the tag history. Please do modify if you think further improvements could be made.
    – Chris W
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 22:50

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