Thanks for your consideration, folks!
- A lot of the moderation work is extremely mundane. It is deleting obvious spam, closing blatantly off-topic questions, and culling some of the worst rated posts in various dimensions. Do you have the patience and commitment to become a GIS Stack Exchange Moderator?
I have taken great pride in moderating this site for the past four years. I flag, vote, comment, review and edit on an almost daily basis. For me, becoming a moderator is something that I not only have the patience and commitment for, but it is something I feel is already part of my GIS professional development.
- We currently have nearly 19,000 (towards 25%) of the questions asked here unanswered. If you think that's too many, then, as a moderator, would you see helping the community to address that number being a priority, and how might you do so?
I think 25% of the questions going unanswered somewhat high. If a question has been solved in comments, then, I would try to persuade the commenter to add an answer based on the comment. In addition, if I feel the question is of particular importance, then I may offer a bounty to bring attention to it. I know @Polygeo has done both of the above and generously offered much of his reputation points on bounties.
- How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
This site is about answering questions. If the user is providing a lot of valuable answers, that's a good thing. I would have to look at the flags on a case by case basis. Arguments are ok. I think it's good to get discussion happening - but if it goes off topic or long-winded, maybe move them to the chat.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
Currently, if I feel a question should be reopened, I vote for it to be reopened. Especially if I feel that there is sufficient information to answer it. If another moderator has closed/deleted a question and I disagreed with that decision, I would reopen it. But perhaps, I would edit the question to make it more clear. Or leave a comment explaining why I reopened it. I
- Why do you want to become a moderator?
I think I answered this in question 1. I see this site as part of my continuing professional development. I encourage my coworkers and colleagues to become active in this site. I want to do my part to continue to make this site the primary destination for finding answers and getting help by other professionals in the GIS industry.
- What are the biggest challenges observed at GIS Stack Exchange and how will you as a moderator help address these challenges?
I'm going to agree with Midavalo here and say the biggest challenge is usually with posts from new members. A lot of the edits/reviews I make are from new members who struggle to form clear posts. Sometimes the questions are vague or the answers are too short with not much effort into clarifying them. As a moderator, it's important to guide these users to reform their questions and answers so that they benefit others.
Also, I think there are a lot of people who come to this site, make a post, then never return. As a moderator, I suppose it's important to ensure these posts are relevant and get the attention they need.
- If you are elected as a moderator, your vote to Close will instantly lead to a question being placed On Hold. How long after you see a question, and decide in your own mind that it should be placed On Hold, do you think that it will be appropriate for you to do so?
I think this site does a pretty good job of moderating itself. The review process is a great way for the general users to identify posts to close. If a question/answer is obvious spam, then I will delete it immediately. If there are one or two votes to close for reasons such as duplicate, or too broad, then I think it's fair to say it should be closed.
If the question was asked by a new user, I would comment that they should read the site FAQ and give them the opportunity to edit their question/answer.
Ultimately, this will need to be done on a case by case basis. Each post should be looked at individually.
- What is your GIS background/experience, and what software packages are your greatest strengths? What approach would you take when needing to moderate a Question/Answer about topics you are less proficient in?
I was first introduced to GIS in 1999 when a friend of mine took me to her computer lab at university (Penn State). She was a geography major (I was a mathematics major) and she showed me how she overlaid different layers on the screen. Pipes, roads, parks, etc. I thought it was so cool - I hadn't ever seen anything like that.
Fast forward a few years and I was working with a town planning firm in Melbourne doing CAD (Microstation) work. I was making maps using CAD and one of the planners said that we should get a GIS program. I volunteered to be the in-house GIS Guy. We looked at both MapInfo and ArcGIS and decided to go with ArcGIS. I spent a couple of years teaching myself ArcGIS. A few years later I transferred to the Brisbane office, and they had MapInfo. So, I had to relearn everything.
In 2010, I decided I wanted to get some formal training in GIS. So, I decided to get a Graduate Diploma (almost a masters) in GIS from the University of Queensland. When I completed that, I moved on to a different company where I am now. It's a GIS consultancy and I use most of the main desktop GIS packages (ArcGIS, MapInfo, QGIS, etc). In addition to those, I use FME.
I would say my biggest strengths are ArcGIS and FME. However, I am fully proficient in MapInfo, but my preference is not to use it if I don't have to. I am also proficient in arcpy. I'm always looking for ways to make my workflow more efficient with some sort of automation.
As far as my approach when needing to moderate a topic I'm less proficient in, I guess I do that already. Questions and answers should follow a particular guideline as defined in the FAQ. If they don't, I can jump in by editing, voting, commenting, etc. It is possible to determine if a post is in need of moderation even if I'm not familiar with the software. Also, it never hurts to do a little research to learn what I can to help.
- Moderators often need to interpret the site’s scope, usually using a mix of the On Topic page and various Meta Q&As (usually tagged scope). If you think the site’s scope, as currently documented and/or interpreted, is either too broad or too narrow, which single category of questions or potential questions would you most like to see removed from or added to its scope, or clarified within it, and why?
I think the site has matured enough now that the scope is pretty much where it needs to be. The only thing I may be flexible on is the wording "We are not a GIS Software Support Site". While I mostly agree with this statement, especially with commercial software, there are many open source and third party programs with no official support. This site already supports users in a lot of ways with those programs.
- As a moderator on GIS SE you will sometimes need to communicate with SE staff and moderators from other SE sites. What is your experience of the Stack Exchange network beyond the walls of GIS SE?
I'm a member on a few other SE sites and I have asked a few questions on them. However, I haven't answered questions anywhere else. Mainly because of time and perhaps lack of experience in those fields. My reputation on Space Exploration is highest after GIS SE. However, I lack experience to answer anything space related. Stack Exchange sites are often my first stop when searching for specialised answers.