We currently have a custom close reason that basically says GIS SE is for GIS questions and there are other sites that you should use for general IT questions, even if they relate to something that a GIS professional is doing. Its current wording is:

Questions relating to general Information Technology, with no clear GIS component, are off-topic here, but can be researched/asked at Stack Overflow (software development), Super User (computing hardware and software) and Database Administrators (relational databases)

Can this wording be improved?

1 Answer 1


I think it can, with just a minor tweak to become:

Questions relating to general Information Technology, and any with no clear GIS component, are off-topic here, but can be researched/asked at Stack Overflow (software development), Super User (computing hardware and software), Database Administrators (relational databases) and other SE sites

By not limiting the list of suggested alternative sites to just the three named we are opening the way for GIS SE users to become more aware that we are but one of many SE sites that may be the best place to research/ask their question, depending on what their specific question is.

For example, the question Retrieving CSV from GitHub Repository for later use in ArcGIS Online? despite ArcGIS Online being in its title is not about GIS, but would be off-topic at Stack Overflow, Super User and Database Administrators. However, it looks like it would be fine on Web Applicatons.

There are too many general IT sites within the Stack Exchange network to name them all in that custom close reason but by simply opening it up with an "etc" it becomes valid for a question such as that above, and lets us keep count on how often we are closing questions that fall under general IT rather than GIS.

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    I like this change, I've always thought this close reason was too specific on the sites given, and I've avoided using it in some cases because of that. Oct 4, 2016 at 17:09
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    Perhaps we can add a link to all alternative SE sites as well. GIS often requires statistics knowledge and I have seen questions that should have been posted on Cross Validated. Or would this be better to add to the default close reason?
    – Fezter Mod
    Oct 4, 2016 at 23:34
  • @Fezter Good idea - I just added a link from etc and inserted "and any" in the first line. I think those additional tweaks make it even more versatile.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Oct 4, 2016 at 23:54
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    Perhaps, instead of "etc", "and other SE sites." (so people will have a better idea about what the hyperlink is) (/cc, @Fezter). Oct 5, 2016 at 11:43
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    @AndreSilva I think that's better, I have updated and will only cut back to etc if we run out of space when I check the character limit.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Oct 5, 2016 at 11:51
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    I like @AndreSilva's "and other SE sites" too - I didn't initially comment as I couldn't think of an alternative to the "etc" which just didn't sound right to me
    – Midavalo Mod
    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:23

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