I am a big fan of our Tour and often direct new users to it as a way of informing them quickly about how GIS SE (and SE in general) works, but something that makes me uncomfortable is the "typical Q&A" that we show there which came from:

Is there Python library (other than ArcPy) for geoprocessing such as buffer?

It is an example where a "one word past one line question" has a "one and a half line first answer".

I normally think of minimum length questions and answers as being "about a paragraph", and so I think it would set a much better example to new users if we were to show there both a question and two answers of a few lines each.

Does anyone know of a better "typical" Q&A that we could use, and if so, perhaps one of the longer serving moderators may already know how we could go about getting it changed?

  • I believe you will need to contact the SE team about this: the example seems to be automatically generated and I am unaware of any moderator controls to change it.
    – whuber
    Nov 4, 2014 at 7:43
  • @whuber that's what I was thinking too - I'll see if consensus seems to be that it should be changed, and what it could be changed to, and then make that contact.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Nov 4, 2014 at 8:40

2 Answers 2


I think that question is okay for the tour, but here are a few "quintessential GIS" candidates I'd suggest that meet the criteria:


I prefer seeing brief questions in a Tour, even one that is realistically too brief for the standards usually set here. It's supposed to teach site functionality, not "how to ask."

Too much text in the example, and it may distract down the reader -- and given how quick an overview of StackExchange style it's intended to be, the brevity is intentional. (I ran through another site's Tour with my spouse recently, and it took at most two minutes, and I think that's mostly because I was talking about my use experiences and answering questions instead of just letting him read it on his own.)

There's a Meta.StackExchange question specifically about this: What determines the questions available for selection in the tour page?

From the answer:

Apparently the posts have to be short, with at least two short answers (<=400 chars). They also shouldn't have any crazy formatting.

So: short, and no images. Included in the answer is a query which I adapted to show a list of GIS.SE's potential candidates: http://data.stackexchange.com/gis/query/92078/possible-about-questions

EDIT: Apparently it's possible to edit the about page if you're a diamond moderator, but I can't provide more info since I'm not ;)

  • 1
    +1 You've done some great research! Perhaps About (which I can edit) just needs a single sentence added like "Writing at least a paragraph helps make your questions and answers easy to follow."
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Nov 10, 2014 at 21:54

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