Documentation Would this idea work for GIS Stack Exchange?

We link to thousands of articles on GIS that sometimes go stale or deadlink Stack Exchange is looking to be that source for documentation (wiki style).

Build it together and keeping it relevant. You still can earn reputation..

"Working together as a community to build the best reference material for developer tools on the internet."

Live Example (in beta status) https://stackoverflow.com/documentation

MySQL example https://stackoverflow.com/documentation/mysql/topics

Full Documentation https://stackoverflow.com/tour/documentation

  • Are you suggesting that we write GIS Documentation within the beta Stack Overflow Documentation or as a separate GIS Stack Exchange Documentation (that is not yet being suggested as an option for SE sites other than Stack Overflow)?
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Feb 28, 2017 at 2:49
  • Suggest it is contained within the stack exchange network whether that it within the domain of overflow or gis is open for discussion at this point in time. (geonet contains docs in many folders)
    – Mapperz Mod
    Feb 28, 2017 at 5:28
  • We have no option to write documentation outside of Stack Overflow Documentation at this time or for the foreseeable future. I think a feature-request needs to be explicit and not open for discussion. If this is intended to be a discussion then I think we should make it a duplicate of meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/4273.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Feb 28, 2017 at 5:41
  • Then is needs to be contained on GIS Stack Exchange. Then reputation would be maintained in GIS stack exchange
    – Mapperz Mod
    Feb 28, 2017 at 14:45
  • 1
    My concern is that Documentation on Stack Overflow is not very well received by the community in its present state (see this post for example). Chief among the concerns is that Documentation is not active enough nor cohesive enough to generate a useful resource for the average user of SO. Considering that GIS Stack Exchange is an even smaller community, these concerns would be even more apparent, I think, if Documentation were implemented here. Mar 4, 2017 at 17:57
  • 1
    I've set this to status-deferred because the code to implement GIS Documentation will not be available until/unless SO Documentation gets out of Beta, and even then I suspect it will be rolled out to larger sites like Super User and Server Fault first.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Mar 8, 2017 at 13:21
  • Sunsetting Documentation documents the shutting down of the Documentation Beta. I have set this to status-declined as a result of that announcement.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Aug 31, 2017 at 7:45

2 Answers 2


Yes, I think this idea would work well for GIS Stack Exchange.

We would need to consider how these are constructed when we are talking about applying the same languages (e.g. SQL, Python etc.) to different GIS products (e.g. QGIS, ArcGIS etc.), but overall I think it is a good idea.

It may be particularly useful for some of the less-documented packages that often point users to GIS SE for support (name of example escapes me, but I think one was mentioned in a GIS Meta Q&A a few months ago)

  • 2
    Like ESRI? They link to GIS Stack Exchange from developers.arcgis.com/community
    – Mapperz Mod
    Feb 27, 2017 at 20:14
  • @Mapperz Not the one I was thinking of (or aware of!) but yes, exactly like that!
    – Midavalo Mod
    Feb 27, 2017 at 20:20
  • 1
    Yes GeoNET is still disorganized when you compare it to GIS Stack Exchange geonet.esri.com/content (even with the tagging)
    – Mapperz Mod
    Feb 27, 2017 at 20:24

Sunsetting Documentation documents the shutting down of the Documentation Beta. I will leave my earlier answer below the line.

I don't think we should overlook the earlier discussion that we had on this in What does Stack Overflow Documentation mean to GIS Stack Exchange?

As nice as it would be to have a GIS specific set of Documentation, it seems like this will still be years away because Stack Overflow Documentation is still in Beta.

Until Allow Documentation in other Stack Exchange communities is implemented, I think that this feature request for GIS specific Documentation will need to have status deferred (i.e. deferred until the "other than Stack Overflow Documentation" request has become status completed).

A very preliminary attempt at posting ArcPy documentation as a topic within the Python Language tag of Stack Overflow Documentation was started 8 months ago but that seems to have stalled.

After those preliminary efforts, my thoughts on ArcPy documentation now focus on trying to encourage ArcPy questions to always include code snippets so that they are not just better focussed but also are more likely to attract answers with code snippets. If nothing else, these should develop a rich body of example code to pull/copy into GIS Documentation later.

It looks like a start has also been made on ArcGIS tag Documentation at Stack Overflow Documentation. That too has an ArcPy topic within it that seems to be unaware of the ArcPy topic within the Python Language tag at Stack Overflow Documentation.

There is also a QGIS tag proposal at Stack Overflow Documentation.

Starts have also been made on tags for Stack Overflow Documentation about:

  • OpenLayers 3
  • PostGIS
  • there may be other GIS tags because my search for them has been anything but exhaustive

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