On the question "Importing 3D geometries into PostGIS?", I took the time to vote-to-close and explain. It was far too broad and lacked sample data. It requests information about three fileformats.

Other filetypes I wish to import are: x3d, 3ds, dae ...

It's extremely broad to the point of being useless. The title is "How to import 3D geometries into PostGIS". There are a ton of 3d geometries for PostGIS. You have topogeoms which can be 3d, you have POLYHEDRALSURFACES. You have x,y,z vertix MULTIPOINTS. My point is you can store these in multiple ways: you may as well just ask how do you store and access data on a computer.

Moreover, the internal fileformats are mostly proprietary now for these 3d exports. I refined that question when a .dae example was provided to be specific to a .dae file. A moderator, who is no doubt great with ESRI, but lacks any experience with PostGIS has rolled back my revision (maintaining the question in the original form), and reopened it.

Seeking to avoid the political confrontation. I left this question alone. I asked a better question with multiple DAE examples pertaining to just DAE. The opp, Midavalo, migrated just my answer back to the original question forcing a political resolution. This is not a satisfactory solution. I worked on both reforming the question, and addressing just DAE importation process. Now it looks like I'm answering about 3d imports and I'm only addressing the COLLADA (dae) importation process.

If anyone else can review these actions it would be greatly appreciated.

Desired solution..

  1. Accept my attempt to narrow the scope the question.
  2. Allow me to self-answer my own question which only address COLLADA.

And, as a side note, we should not be migrating answers against the questioner's will. I'm cool assuming that some time, but clearly in this case Midavalo did something that I was going to certainly view as hostile.

  • Downvotes here are probably due to 'calling out' Midavalo who has done great work moderating the site. Bottom line of this question in my opinion: i) 'as stated by Fezter, radical changes to someone else's question should not be carried out; hence that question should have stayed closed if it was broad'; continues... Jun 16, 2018 at 1:56
  • ii) you were right about asking your own version of that question to answer it yourself, but agree with Midavalo that it was strange using OP's data (seems not right to me); besides that I think you could have put some more effort in the question; you said yours was better, but the other one despite broad had more details on it); continues... Jun 16, 2018 at 1:59
  • iii) your question should not have been merged (as recognized by Midavalo's answer), because it was a different question (narrower) and there was already a history of conflict (editing war) in the first question. Instead, if any moderation action had to be taken, it would be to mark it as duplicate (yours to the original; or the original to yours). But I'd just let the original closed and yours open. Jun 16, 2018 at 1:59

3 Answers 3


I think you were correct to vote to close the question in its original form. However, your edits to the question were too drastic. Your attempts to narrow the scope of the question resulted in a question that may have conflicted with the original asker's intent.

You can read our help page on editing here. It states that edits should be done:

  • To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
  • To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
  • To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
  • To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
  • To add related resources or hyperlinks

If you made this edit prior to having 2000 reputation, it would most certainly be rejected by the community. It should also be noted that anyone can roll back an edit. As a moderator (but mainly because >2k rep), Midavalo just happens to be able to do it without it going to community review.

As far as self-answering your own question, you are free to do so. However, the question you posted was not your own question. It was using the wording of the original asker's question. In fact, the data you pointed to was not your data, but the data of the original asker's question.

Please don't take this as a hostile action. It wasn't intended as one.

  • 1
    It's public data? What do I do? I wanted to know how to load it into a database, and I figured a lot out. It seems like we largely agree -- the first question should be closed (that's fine with me), I can't be that drastic in my edit (I think in order to salvage a question from closure, when sample data is provided the case permits it -- but I respect our disagreement there), so we close the vague question and allow my question which has sample data provided from two sources to persist? May 12, 2017 at 1:05

I have not analysed the Q&As that you have asked to be reviewed in detail, but I have seen the 12 revisions of the main question and the 58 events in its history, and would like to make these observations/comments:

  • A large number of experienced users voted to close this question in its original form and some of the same users voted to re-open it, I think prematurely, for the reason you cited i.e. because it was not focussed on a single 3D format to try and learn how to import that.
  • While we should try not to change the original asker's intent when we edit, I am happy for editing to be performed to reduce the scope of questions, when that makes them re-openable and more answerable.
  • I think it would have been better, in retrospect, to have asked about the premature re-opening here rather than proceeding to writing the self-answered question after the heavy edit was rolled back.
  • Once the self-answered question was written and answered I would have left it.
  • There is no function for migrating answers, and what you observed was a question merge, which is when duplicates are deemed to have answers that could apply to the master question. Merges cannot be undone, and so should be used sparingly.

There are many ways that each question here can be processed, and so the "correct" way is often not black and white.

For this question, the two guidelines that I would try to follow are:

  • questions that are too broad should be closed, and stay closed, until the issue of their scope has been addressed.
  • self-answered questions are usually encouraged.
  • Would you find it acceptable to re-ask a self-answered question with the same content I previously asked, and to delete that answer on that specific question? May 12, 2017 at 16:23
  • 1
    My preference would be to reduce the scope of the original question so that it just pertains to DAE so that your answer there is applied to a question that is no longer too broad and thus need no longer be closed.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    May 12, 2017 at 23:40
  • Can you toll back midavalo's edit then? that was my original plan. May 12, 2017 at 23:46
  • 1
    I was going to write that I think a new edit rather than a rollback would be better, and Midavalo has just done one that seems to get the question's scope just right, leaves more of the original asker's wording in place, and makes your answer a great fit which I have just upvoted.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    May 13, 2017 at 0:18
  • I don't find that at all satisifactory. I want a self-answered question. Will you permit it? That question is about 3D formats I want to address specifically a certain file-type. If "self-answered questions are usually encouraged" than consider that I want to make a useful contribution to the community and I don't feel that it would be useful, nor properly indexed, under the current question which is addressing something totally different. May 13, 2017 at 0:41
  • 1
    At this point your merged question seems to me to be a duplicate of the one that it has been merged with and so I do not plan to vote for its re-opening. However, there are nearly 200 users with the re-open vote privilege who may view the two questions differently.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    May 13, 2017 at 1:45

First I'd like to apologise for not communicating with you better on what I was doing and why. In hind-sight I can see why you may see my actions at the time as hostile, however hostility was not my intent and for this I do apologise.

I would like to explain my actions here in the hope you would understand why I took this course of action.

  1. I believe your new question was a duplicate of the first, and so I marked it as a duplicate

    1. It asked basically the same question - perhaps the original still needs an edit or two to make it less broad, but it is the basis of the original question.
    2. It used the original asker's data from their original question. This wasn't a link to public data, but rather their own file they had made available for the question.
  2. Although I had rolled-back1 your edit to the original, I had reopened it at your request as I believed you had an answer to add. Often we will reopen questions where another user indicates they may have an answer to allow that user to post it.

  3. While I agree the original question was too broad, I felt the addition of their data made it less so, which is why I felt comfortable with the roll-back and reopen. I feel that with a couple of minor edits the question could be made more specific (focussing on the data provided).

  4. I merged to bring your answer through to the original question. Having the answer only on the duplicate means the original asker may never see this answer to what was originally their question.

Of the above, the only one I would try to do differently if a similar situation presented itself in the future is #4. The merge may not have been the correct way to handle it. Rather I think a better course of action would have been to comment or chat with you to encourage you to post your answer on the original question.

I hope this helps you understand why I did what I did. I accept that it could have been handled differently, and I will try to do that better in the future.

1. The Edit was rolled back per reason given both in response to your flag on the question, and also in a (now deleted) comment on the question: Please be careful when editing questions that you don't remove information provided by the Asker about error messages and their attempts.

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