Our most highly upvoted question on Main is What Makes a Map Beautiful? and it has previously been discussed in two questions here on Meta:

If asked today, this question would be closed as being either:

  • too broad; or
  • primarily opinion-based

However, it was:

  • asked in the early days of GIS SE, on 30 Oct 2010;
  • made Community Wiki on 2 Nov 2010;
  • closed as primarily opinion-based on 24 May 2015;
  • historically locked on 2 Jun 2015; and
  • changed from an historic lock to a wiki answer lock on 13 Nov 2015

The last step was performed in response to concerns about not being able to edit the content, which can now be done.

If anyone is concerned about the wiki answer lock on this particular question, could you describe that concern in an answer here, please? Alternatively, since this question was designed to promote discussion about historic locks, any answers discussing why they think an historic lock on this particular question should or should not be used would also seem suitable.

Note: This question is asking only about the historical lock placed on the particular question of What Makes a Map Beautiful? but ...

If you ever think there is any question closed inappropriately, and you have the privilege level (3,000 rep) to re-open them, then I encourage you to exercise that vote.

If you have that concern, but do not have that privilege, or if you think an inappropriate lock has been placed on any other question, then please raise that in a new Meta question about one Main question of concern.

Understanding a few such precedent questions (that are not "one size fits all") in detail should enable our community to adjust its close/lock policies to get the remainder "right" too.

Recommended Reading: What is a "locked" post?

  • Cartography can be subjective on the maps purpose - there is no right or wrong. We should cover cartography even though the tour does not gis.stackexchange.com/tour "Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals"
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 17:17
  • @Mapperz I'm curious about where that quoted string comes from. When I google using it the first hit is Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange with that exact string as its excerpt but when I visit the site I find it nowhere?
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 22:16
  • It is in the meta for GIS-SE view-source:gis.stackexchange.com which google scrape as the description of the site.
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


I am against historical locking questions in such situations, because it bothers me not being able to edit a post I authored, even if that post had the community wiki status (then, I would had coauthored). Other arguments can be found in @KHibma's answer in Using wiki answer lock on particular highly upvoted community wiki question that would be closed if asked today?.

When should posts be locked?* From the reading you recommended:

Some examples of when a post might be locked include:

  • A question or answer where repeated voting or editing is happening in a way which attempts to game, hack, or otherwise abuse the system.
  • A question that gets opened and closed repeatedly many times without achieving community consensus on whether it should stay open or closed.
  • A question that, for whatever reason, continues to attract flame posts, spam, or other inappropriate answers.
  • A question that is repeatedly vandalized by its asker; for example, to drastically alter the meaning of the question that invalidates existing answers, or to obliterate/obscure the question.

I do not think that any of the points above apply to the question about 'beautiful maps'.

That question was already closed as opinion-based, so it won't attract more answers; it was also set to community wiki, which will avoid skewing reputation statistics in the system. It is already enough.

Moreover, wiki locks are also bad. It forces all the content being compiled in one unique and big answer, consequently making the voting feature useless (in the sense it decreases signal-to-noise ratio, one of Stack Exchange strengths). For example, take a look at Who can edit Wiki Answer locked posts?.

In my opinion, locking (if any) is more suitable to the large StackOverflow community where they started to note behaviour like the ones described above. That bullets above will rarely occur here in a manner that other less drastic moderation activities could be accomplished first and solving the problem (e.g.: CW status, multilateral closing and protection).


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