I just can't help but wonder if SE has ever proposed making certain tags a requirement. I don't think any question on GIS.SE can be worthwhile without a tag or two (or other bit of information) indicating software and version. If possible, I think it would be good to have required fields to create those tags.

I see 3 or 4 posts every day with comments like these that I pasted below and although PolyGeo and others are doing a great job of this, it seems it would be possible to cut out the middleman. I realize you ARE required to put at least one tag but the choices aren't always the best ones.

Would you be able to edit your question to include the GIS software and version that you are using, please? – PolyGeo♦ 18 mins ago

  • There has been discussion in a few questions about requiring software or version tags specifically. See meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/3770 (very nearly duplicate), comments and answers at meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/3737 and lengthy discussion at meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/3609 for some examples.
    – Chris W
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 22:32
  • 1
    @ChrisW I think that this is a quite distinct question from each of those Q&As which seemed focussed on when to use version tags and/or their value. This one is about whether every question can have a product and version tag enforced/validated on it before a question can be saved i.e. technical rather than policy.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 23:54
  • @polygeo I originally viewed this question as whether to require any of a set of select tags, such as the way Meta works (as your edit points out). If talking specifically about version/software tags I fail to see how a question about implementing a policy differs more than semantically from having the policy. Should the answer to this question be 'yes', then the other question is pointless - you would be required to post a software and version tag in order to post your question, relevant or not. I merely point out those other questions as relevant and related to this one, hence no flag.
    – Chris W
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 4:55
  • 1
    @ChrisW I think the implementation being suggested is two extra input areas so that we would have Title, Body, ProductTag, VersionTag, Tags(=OtherTags) where both ProductTag and VersionTag would be compulsory and checked against all tags of type Product and Version respectively. We don't capture tag type anywhere on Main.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 7:18

2 Answers 2


I think every question should mention either the GIS software (and version) being used, or a statement to say that it is a GIS principle or algorithm being asked about, because that stops me having to guess, assume or ask about the asker's configuration before I can start thinking about whether I can answer it.

However, I think trying to teach new askers a non-trivial tag classification, or to lead them through some sort of a tag hierarchy, may be futile. The nearest thing to that is Require one of the bold-border tags on new MetaSO questions, which is what happens here on Meta, but you seem to be thinking about enforcing two tags and a stored categorization of tags into types like product tags and version tags. It could be done, but would require making the case via Meta SE, implementation via the SE Team and then maintenance by us - all in all a sizable amount of work.

Consequently, my focus is on trying to get our users thinking about always mentioning their software product (and version) in the body of their question. If they get the tags right then that is a bonus but, if not, as long as their software product (and version) is mentioned in the body then correction is easy and quick.

I just updated this answer to How to frame a good question? to incorporate a statement about the GIS software and version.


A Question should have at least one tag per question more is better in this case

Under the help there is tagging https://gis.stackexchange.com/help/tagging

Though versions of a particular GIS software can be used in time the answer can become 'stale' if new features are introduced that eliminated the need of a version


but not

  • When you see arcgis do you assume arcgis-online, arcgis-desktop, arcgis-server or something else from the ArcGIS platform? If you look for questions about ArcGIS for Desktop are you happy to open questions tagged arcgis in case they are about that product rather than another from the ArcGIS platform?
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 22:33

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