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Should we allow the esri tag for questions not about the company, but rather about its products? Currently it is being used to tag questions related to Esri products.

The tags on questions tagged esri that I could find at time of writing are listed for convenience (since currently no questions are listed when clicking on a tag ) :

  • esri arcobjects development
  • esri arcobjects arcgis-server (was arcgis.server)
  • esri file-formats mxd lyr (relates to formats used by ArcGIS)
  • development esri arcobjects .net
  • esri spatial-database geodatabase arcsde
  • esri open-source dem spatial-analyst (a question which asks how do I do this without esri spatial analyst)
  • esri arcgis personal-gdb ms-access mdb
  • esri arcgis .net ags-9.3.1

Pretty all of these questions are tagged with a specific Esri product or API as well as the generic Esri tag.

Is there, therefore, any merit in retaining a generic Esri tag?

Note that stackoverflow.com currently has 851 questions tagged microsoft, 7,667 questions tagged visual-studio-2008 and 96,362 questions tagged c#.

  • I think we could have a tag named esri. Someone might be asking for what type of products esri has, and other non technical related stuff? – George Silva Jul 26 '10 at 12:16
  • I don't see any harm that could result. Multi tag searches could prove useful, e.g. stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/esri+.net – Kirk Kuykendall Jul 26 '10 at 16:20
  • @Geroge I agree. But should we fill it with questions like How do I do *x* with ArcMap? – fmark Jul 27 '10 at 0:14
  • I think it is fine to have an esri tag available for questions about the company, but for product specific questions I think using it is a "waste of a tag". – PolyGeo Feb 1 '13 at 1:08
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I don't think it matters. Colloquially, people won't be phrasing "I'm having trouble doing this task with my ESRI", much the same way nobody (except maybe my Grandpa) would be "having trouble doing that task with his Microsoft".

ESRI is neither a concept nor a single product. Furthermore, most of their singly-named products are heaped components, but for the sake of understanding, let's stick to commonly accepted tags.

Inappropriate tags are a minor annoyance IMHO.

  • If there's some standard out there (e.g. OGC) and I heard ESRI (or Microsoft) has some tool that is compliant with the standard, but don't know the tool, then it would make sense to search for a combination of OGC and ESRI (or Microsoft) – Kirk Kuykendall Jul 29 '10 at 19:46
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There is a Meta Stack Exchange Q&A that seems to be the equivalent of this one:

Are company-name tags like [microsoft] and [apple] useful?

I almost agree with @animuson who says:

Things like "Microsoft" and "Apple" are users tagging things incorrectly.

However, I would say that an tag can be used, but only when it is a question about the company itself, rather than one or more of its products, because the latter already have more specific tags like:


The tag has for quite some time been a synonym of with this tag excerpt:

Use for questions concerning Esri the company rather than its products which have separate tags.

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I'd suggest that we could handle this in a hierarchical manner, so you'd have tags like:

  • [esri-arccobjects]
  • [esri-arcgis]

Maybe even:

  • [esri-shapefile]
  • [esri-mxd]

By doing it in a hierachical manner, you can use wildcards in the interested/ignored tags (e.g. [esri*])

  • this is a good idea. esri-ags (arcgis server) esri-ags-javascript esri-ags-webadf esri-sde-admin esri-sde-oracle esri-sde-pgsql esri-sdk-inteface esri-sdk-class – George Silva Jul 27 '10 at 14:36
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    yuk. that's what chaining tags together does. I don't want to have to plunk esri in front of everything, it's redundant and makes things less flexible. ESRI makes Arcmap, therefore [arcmap] is automatically [esri]'s child. – matt wilkie Jul 27 '10 at 23:32
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    @matt By all means post an alternate suggestion -- I do tend to agree that the esri portion becomes redundant when talking about [arcmap] and [arcgis] etc (and [arc*] still works, although the search based on that tag won't work as the wildcards need more than three letters to work on the search page) – Rowland Shaw Jul 28 '10 at 20:18
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    my point is that I don't think we need an alternate, [arcmap] or [mxd] on their own are sufficient most of the time. On those occasions when more generality is wanted it can be chained, [esri] [arcmap], though I admit to not being able to imagine a case where this would be useful. – matt wilkie Jul 28 '10 at 23:49

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