We currently have the following tags (and their wiki entries) related to education, learning, research and career, and there may be more (feel free to edit and add). Often several of them occur on the same question, suggesting that there may be some confusion/overlap in the "definitions" applied here in their wikis and wiki excerpts.

For questions related to learning and resources about learning.

The acquisition of new skills and knowledge

Resources used to aid the acquisition of skills and knowledge

A tutorial is a method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of a learning process. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture; a tutorial seeks to teach by example and supply the information to complete a certain task.

[no wiki]

[no wiki]

A number of questions have been asked on GIS SE to seek ideas for thesis topics:

These are usually closed as being too broad. A more suitable place to ask such questions may be the GIS Chat Room.

Questions seeking career advice have been discussed at Meta GIS SE in a Q&A titled Asking for career and/or industry advice on GIS Stack Exchange?, and the general consensus is that they are usually not a good fit for our focussed Q&A format.

A more suitable place for you to ask such questions may be our GIS Chat Room.

Searching for questions here about any specific topics of interest (e.g.Geology) may also offer you some insights.

Another useful link may be What are useful websites for scouting GIS related jobs?

Should some or all of these be made synonyms?

Some related Q&As here are:

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  • I feel like this question is growing too large to feasibly answer and attract votes on those answers. Each additional tag creates more opportunity for someone to agree with most of an answer but withhold voting due to one specific line - and exponentially grows the list of potential answers. If it continues should we add the homework tag (which is its own can of worms debated before). Career is significantly distinct from education, but if it stays better add gis-professionals. Thesis-topic shouldn't even exist and just be deleted/burninated. I don't know what research is, but it sounds meta. – Chris W Feb 13 '15 at 0:34
  • Found a few more related tags. To go along with career and gis-professionals (and maybe this section is split to a separate question), there's also industry and business (which might be synonyms of each other). And in the education camp there's books, which might be a synonym of learning-resources. At least if tutorials is - I think they could be left separate. – Chris W Feb 13 '15 at 22:55
  • @ChrisW Making education (most of the above) and business (career, gis-professional, industry) the only two tags to cover the tags we are talking about seems reasonable to me - probably best to try and accomplish within this Q&A for education and another Q&A for business. – PolyGeo Feb 13 '15 at 23:25
  • I'm afraid I still don't support a blanket merger/synonym to two tags, but I do support the idea of separate Q&As for education related and business related tags. Training could fall under either category, but I would leave it as part of education (it may be business directed education, but it's education none-the-less). I'm noting a distinct lack of input from anyone but you or me though. – Chris W Feb 14 '15 at 23:13

Current tags , and could be synonymized to a new tag named .

The reasoning is that all the 3 tags haven't been used consistently, and my hypothesis is they will never be, because their great extent of overlapping. Additionally, I find it difficult for a new user to search [learning-resources] in the first place.

An example of excerpt for was adapted from the stats SE site.

Questions seeking information about specific (not lists of) books, papers, presentations, tutorials, videos of lectures, and other materials, regarding any subject matter that is on-topic for GIS Stack Exchange.

Searching would involve then, the use of a tag combined with keywords (e.g. [references] + book, etc.).

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    Technically I think this would have been better raised in a new Meta Q&A but since this Q&A has proven quite messy, if we can get some votes on it, then I would be happy to implement it and feel like we made some progress. – PolyGeo Nov 16 '16 at 22:44
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    There seemed to be no dissent from anyone about this proposal so the references tag now has those synonyms. – PolyGeo Dec 3 '16 at 5:18

Proposal Summary

  • - stays, Wiki updated and retagging as necessary so that it applies only to the topics of educational programs (ie schools, degrees, certificate) or the act/resources for educating (teaching)
  • - review questions and retag to as necessary, then make a synonym of
  • and - no change other than to review questions and ensure appropriate tag is applied (including if change to is needed)
  • - retag all questions to or except the one, update Wiki to define as "Process of supplying examples to software for the purposes of automatic classification and/or extraction."


I agree there's a lot of overlap and perhaps cross-application in these tags. Some disambiguation and perhaps a bit of retagging might be in order.

Education could be distinct and refer only to training and degree programs or qualifications. It could also mean from the educator/trainer perspective of how to teach things as opposed to learn them. As currently written, the wiki for it makes it a duplicate of learning-resources.

I would make learning go away. Synonym of master learning-resources. I looked through a few questions and it seems like that's the route they all go - how do I learn x, which means what resource can I use to learn x. They seem to be applied together quite often as well.

Learning-resources seems like a good tag. It's a broad category, can refer to books, tutorials, programs, webcasts, and so forth.

I think tutorials is actually specific enough to be distinct from Learning-resources. It's a very particular kind of resource. The question is use. It could be applied to questions either asking for or whose answers contain. If asking for, that seems very similar to a question for resources, but then maybe they just want a specific, step-by-step on a particular tool or process. I think either is fine.

Training could be a good tag, but with a different meaning than its current use. I think the current questions it is applied to should either become education or learning-resources depending on the question. But I also think training as a tag could have use if it were defined to apply to classification - ie providing examples for automated classification or extraction.

One thing to point out with all of these tags is that the questions they're used on tend not to be the best kind of question for SE. Extensive tutorials as answers are generally discouraged. Anything providing links or off-site resources is bound to go out of date, some more quickly than others. Others are going to be very opinion-based (best program/book/how to learn, do I need degree/cert, etc.). That's not to say they don't all have use or value, just that the categories appear to be 'high-maintenance'.

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  • I'm with you on "the questions they're used on tend not to be the best kind of question for SE" for the precise reasons you give. I'll reserve my upvote for clearly stating what synonyms/master(s) you are proposing - perhaps add as an exec summary at the beginning? – PolyGeo Feb 10 '15 at 23:01
  • @PolyGeo Done. Happy to help with any question review/retags should it go forward. – Chris W Feb 10 '15 at 23:16
  • I plan to think about this a bit more, but my first thought was that if they tend not to make good questions anyway, couldn't they all be made synonyms of education? That way only the quick creation of four synonyms and no retagging would be needed. – PolyGeo Feb 11 '15 at 0:05
  • @PolyGeo At that point, rather than bury them under one tag why not just close/remove them? It's agreed that they're not 'good' per the SE format, but they're there, there's a 'lot' of them, and they have some value. I wouldn't consider it an improvement to site functionality to eliminate tags that are distinguishable from one another. Especially if the justification is minimizing effort, in which case zero effort of leave it alone seems better (I don't mean that as harsh as it may read). Lumping everything under 'education' just makes that a meta tag for 'bad' questions related to learning. – Chris W Feb 11 '15 at 23:32
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    I prefer this approach, because it preserves some difference between education (which I'd consider to mean a more formalized pedagogical style) and learning (which is more self-directed, can be done on the fly via tutorials, webinars, etc.). – Erica Feb 17 '15 at 15:01

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