Season’s greetings, GIS Stack Exchange users!

The year is rapidly coming to a close, which means even though we typically hate it, it’s time to have some fun...with hats! That’s right - it’s time for Winter Bash 2016!!

Most of you remember previous years’ events, but here is a quick little reminder. Winter Bash is an annual event that can run on any Stack Exchange site that chooses to participate. Users have fun by earning “hats” for their gravatars by completing certain tasks (very similar to badges). We track everyone’s progress using hats in a leaderboard.

As always, Stack Exchange are coming up with new hat designs for this year’s fun!

The event will run from 19 December 2016 up to and including 08 January 2017. You will be able to see all the hats you’ve earned on http://winterbash2016.stackexchange.com. That site will also have a landing page, explaining the rules and other details of the event.

Individual users who don’t want to participate, don’t want to see hats, and/or are generally anti-hat will have an “I hate hats” option available. And just like last time, at the end of the event, all hats will go back into storage.

The only visual change to the Stack Exchange sites themselves will be the presence of the hats and the “I hate hats” button in the footer.

While this is meant to be fun, and individual users can opt out as described above, there are some communities who may not want this kind of event on their sites at all. Whenever we have asked GIS SE users if they want our site to participate the response has been an overwhelming YES - see Should GIS participate in the 2014 “Winter Bash”? - so unless someone quickly says in an answer that they do not want GIS SE to participate, and the votes on that quickly outweigh those placed here for the "participate" vote we will let the GIS SE position default to "YES, we will participate".

If, by a major reversal from past years, we decide to opt out, then we moderators need to be in a position to say that to the Community Team by Tuesday, 13 December 2016.

  • 3
    Winter Bash 2016 started today with GIS participating! – PolyGeo Dec 19 '16 at 3:05
  • Glad you this community choose to participate, it's a fun alternative approach for the users IMO. – whyzar Dec 19 '16 at 21:01

Homer Simpson says "Yes (participate)" better than I can.


As GIS users, perhaps we are aware that it's only winter north of the Tropic of Cancer, which is much less than half of the world.

Perhaps the name 'winter bash' is poorly chosen. (And who likes hats anyway)

  • 1
    Perhaps. On the other hand, there are a few summer hats too :). Thing is that besides having some fun, users need to accomplish a set of tasks that usually benefits the site; like cleaning posts, answering old questions, being aware of features in the site (nothing so different from badges, but it is like a temporary surplus). – Andre Silva Dec 5 '16 at 11:00
  • 2
    No disagreement with anything you're saying (though I find your definition of 'fun' differs from mine). I only query the use of 'winter' – Umaomamaomao Dec 6 '16 at 1:04
  • Isn't it winter north of the equator? of course if you are standing on the line in Africa, South America or New Guinea you probably wouldn't notice the change in season as you jump from one side to the other. (Something else to add to my bucket list :) ). – Banger Dec 7 '16 at 12:20
  • I expect they didn't go with Christmas Bash for obvious reasons. Still, as representatives of the geographic community it would be a good opportunity to educate the larger stackexchange community. Does anyone know what percentage of the Earth's landmass is south of the equator? And what percentage of the population? Just wondering out loud who is in the majority/minority in the summer/winter stakes! Oh, and to be clear, I love hats! – Mark Ireland Dec 7 '16 at 16:21
  • 3
    Unfortunately, I expect that this discussion comes up every year. Tim Post gave some thoughts about the naming last year. – Evil Genius Dec 8 '16 at 12:19
  • @MarkIreland I think if you ask those questions about landmass percentage in gis.se, you're questions will probably get closed as Duplicate :-) – BradHards Dec 8 '16 at 21:15
  • @Banger, the tropics have noticeable seasons, but winter ain't generally one of them en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropics#Seasons_and_climate – Umaomamaomao Dec 9 '16 at 0:32
  • @EvilGenius if it comes up every year, perhaps it's a sign that SE might consider being more inclusive and less Northern Hemisphere/US-centric – Umaomamaomao Dec 9 '16 at 0:37
  • @geryan I actually pointed that out since the post was by a SE employee, who happens to live in an area where 'winter' isn't an appropriate term for this time of year (or any time for that matter) and he explains some of the reasoning behind why it's held and why it's called what it is... – Evil Genius Dec 9 '16 at 0:49
  • @EvilGenius I did read the post, but it's just waving away the issue with, 'well I don't care, so why should you?' and (look over there!) 'holiday isn't a better name, so let's all stay with winter'. I'd hazard a guess that the author is from the N hemisphere originally anyway, so therefore less prickly (than I am) about such cultural imperialism. – Umaomamaomao Dec 9 '16 at 1:28
  • 4
    I'm not dismissing it; I don't have a good answer and I don't expect to please everyone in this discussion, but I did find the post informative at the least and thought I'd share. – Evil Genius Dec 9 '16 at 1:32
  • @EvilGenius quite right, neither do I, and I don't suggest you are dismissing it, only that the linked post was. – Umaomamaomao Dec 9 '16 at 1:34
  • 1
    @geryan, thankyou for the link, I grew up in Townsville north queensland, we definitely had winter, once or twice it was even cold enough to think about putting a jumper on. :) I certainly see your point but my own personal opinion is that it doesn't bother me, I'm used to associating Christmas with snow even though I have never seen the real thing. But I'm also happy to listen to everyone else's thoughts on the subject too. – Banger Dec 9 '16 at 12:55
  • 1
    I think the place to try and change the name of the Winter Bash is at Meta Stack Exchange because the same name is applied SE Network-wide, and is not customisable on a per-site basis. – PolyGeo Dec 11 '16 at 21:58
  • 1
    It looks like Meta SE was less receptive than here but that is the right place to try and effect change if you feel strongly about this. For me, Xmas cards with snow, Winter Bash name, etc are water off a duck's back and until someone comes up with a clearly better name I'm happy to remain with the one we have: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/288024/… – PolyGeo Dec 13 '16 at 1:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .