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Today I found the following question post:

It seemed to me that the question was "too broad", and I wanted to cast a closing vote for that reason.

In doing so, I realized that the "too broad" reason for closure no longer exists. A little late, I realized that the reasons for closing had changed at some point.

Among the closing reasons, I noticed that the one that fit the most was that it "Needs more focus", and cast a close vote with that reason.

I looked for references here in GIS Meta site about the change, but I didn't find them. So I asked in the chat, where Midavalo shared a link to a similar question in Meta StackExchange, which has no answers yet, but has a link to the New Post Notices announcement.


We usually vote for the closing of posts when they explicitly contain more than one question, with the reason "Needs more focus".

In this case I considered that the post had many implicit questions, although only one ("too broad") explicit.

I don't have one in particular, but I think many posts in which we see two questions are more focused than some posts in which we see a single, but broad, question.
Also, the author of the post may consider that a single focused question is being asked even if the wording explicitly contains two questions. And in that case, it is likely that the post will not be edited (reduced to just one question).

So, should we stick to voting for the closing of posts when they have more than one question or should we consider the reason "Needs more focus" rather with the sense that the question is "too broad"?

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I think that "needs more focus" is just the new "name" for the "too broad" close reason.

I think that there are two main question structures that it should be used on, and these are:

  • "more than one question per question" (should be focused to one question), and
  • "too open-ended"/"too broad" (quick single question by asker seeking potentially large amount of volunteered effort to address in a single answer, or with potential to attract many more than the target 3-5 answers per question).

The question you cite is one of the latter. Another like "How do I perform network analysis using ArcGIS Pro?" is only one question, but might attract answers like "read this chapter from the Help", "assuming it's shortest paths you're after, do this …", assuming it's location-allocation analysis you're after, do this ..", etc

Assessing this close reason has always been about more than just counting question marks because it involves trying to assess both the explicit and implied questions, and the way focused answers and unfocused answers are likely to flow or not flow. However, a single question mark in a question body can help any asker help direct potential answerers quickly to precisely what the asker is asking.

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