18 months ago we made the tag a synonym of as a result of Should openlayers-2 and openlayers be synonyms?

Although I am not an OpenLayers user, it now seems to me that most OpenLayers questions are about OpenLayers-3. Consequently, I think that it is time to redirect the tag to be a synonym of .

If this gets approval to be implemented then, frequently at first, you may find OpenLayers 2 questions when searching using the tag, and if you do, then I would encourage you while editing them to replace the tag with .

Should we make the tag a synonym of (instead of )?

  • With what seems to be 8 votes for and none against, openlayers is now a synonym of openlayers-3.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 23:19

2 Answers 2


I've re-tagged my fair share of questions that are tagged improperly because of this (I even found a few more after seeing this question).

The usage guidance will need to be updated (emphasis mine):

OpenLayers is a JavaScript library for creating dynamic map widgets for web sites. Use this tag for questions specific to Version 2 of the OpenLayers Javascript client toolkit.

Or, make a stand alone tag again.
I think this also points out how tag synonyms are confusing when you are asking a question. Outside of putting something in the usage guidance (which many seem to ignore anyway), there's no way of telling that a tag is a synonym.

If I were to submit this question, it would end up with and :

OL Tags while asking

And, worse, this pattern makes perfect sense for other tags on our site, such as questions tagged with both qgis and a version tag, like qgis-2.8

  • Isn't eliminating [openlayers] an option? I mean we would stick with ol2 or ol3. Or proceed as you suggest in the last paragraph; the current way seems inappropriate, because when there is ol4 there will be more confusion, right? Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 20:47
  • I agree that choosing tags can be confusing, especially for new users, which is why I rank them as the least important of the three parts to a question at meta.gis.stackexchange.com/a/3353/115 I think it is the top answerers of questions in a topic area (e.g. OpenLayers, QGIS, ArcGIS, etc) that should be listened to the most when trying to decide how they should be tagged (so that they can find the ones they want to answer easily and reliably): meta.gis.stackexchange.com/a/3740/115
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 21:59
  • The QGIS tagging Q&A did not result in clear consensus on a way forward (at the time) at meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/3737/… but it currently seems to be heading in the direction of making its version tags synonyms of the generic qgis.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 0:16
  • I've just implemented the redirected synonymy proposed in my question and endorsed by your answer.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 23:20
  • That qgis post has a +8 score answer; so at least today there is a consensus. Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 13:16
  • 1
    I think it was too soon to implement this suggestion, because there was little time since the Q was asked, because there was few votes, and because there were two different solutions in the answer, and the one it was implemented was the one OP agreed. I for example, support the last suggestion (making openlayers stand alone) or buninating it. The synonym suggestion is temporary, because when a ol4 tag appears it will cause confusion again. @PolyGeo Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 13:24
  • 1
    Perhaps what I did not understand yet is why should openlayers be treated differently from arcgis and qgis when it comes to tagging; i.e; why can't it have a master tag and version tags? Or if a master tag is useless why not burninating it, just in case someone is willing to lead the activity? Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 13:53
  • @AndreSilva I implemented this after three days because the simple switch of what version of OpenLayers the openlayers tag points to is trivial to change (and trivial to change back), and was in line with the momentum from that earlier Q&A that this one was asked in order to validate. I did not implement a merge because that did not have the endorsement of the earlier Q&A nor this one. Burnination of the openlayers tag was not endorsed nor discussed except in passing during either Q&A (yet).
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 10:58
  • I had also overlooked the votes from question. @PolyGeo. Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 11:04
  • @AndreSilva ArcGIS, OpenLayers and QGIS questions are answered by three different sets of our users. There is some overlap, of course, but not much between the Top Answerers of each. I think questions are best tagged using schemes that suit their most likely potential answerers. The tagging guidelines which I think work well for software of the ArcGIS platform have not been reflected in the tagging schemes endorsed by the other two sub-communities. I think there is room for our sub-communities to decide upon the tagging schemes that they think will work best for them.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 11:05

I alluded to an alternative to the proposal in my question, in an 18 month old comment on Should openlayers-2 and openlayers be synonyms?:

With mod privileges synonymizing is easy, merge is too, but burnination needs much more justification and SE involvement so I would perhaps suggest synonym initially, and assuming it works for us, then merge a little later. Burnination is probably overkill - we have only used that for gis, geospatial and spatial [and arcgis] so far.

Instead of simply switching the OpenLayers synonym from OpenLayers 2 to OpenLayers 3, I think it would be better to use these steps:

  1. Merge into with the latter being the master
  2. Break (or don't make - it's a checkbox in the mod tool for merging) the synonymy between and
  3. Make a synonym from to

Burnination of to eliminate the need for step 3 is possible but I think overkill.

The above 3 steps would mean that when anyone tries to tag a question as it will be assumed they meant , which I think seems reasonable today and until OpenLayers 4 starts to pervade.

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