Landsat 8 Collection 2 anomalies in TIRS1 data (from QA_PIXEL and ST_QA) was recently closed as off-topic, but as the data ingestion lead, I'm very interested in seeing such questions - it's hard to tell in some cases whether the problem is with EE itself or with the data. Even if the problem is about data, keeping these questions in the same GIS site seems convenient to me, as people are likely to search it later.

I now know there's also an Open Data Stack Exchange, but it covers so much that keeping GIS data in the GIS SE seems preferable to me but in cases when Open Data is a better fit, can I ask to close such questions with a comment about using Open Data instead so that users would know what to do?

  • The community voted to re-opened this question.
    – Mapperz Mod
    Dec 8, 2021 at 20:27
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    Right, this particular question is taken care of, but I wanted to clarify the general policy on what is and isn't off-topic. I only noticed this question because the OP asked the same thing on Twitter, and did a related Google search on a whim. I wouldn't have noticed it if I just browsed open SE questions. Dec 8, 2021 at 21:00
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    For "the general policy on what is and isn't off-topic" please see gis.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic, in particular gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3349, and because Google Earth Engine questions seem to usually involve code, gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4312 is also highly relevant.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 8, 2021 at 22:23
  • Whether open data questions should be closed/migrated from Geographic Information Systems to Open Data is a continuing discussion at gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4155. My preference would be to close them here, and make a note that they are better asked at Open Data but without that as community consensus I do not vote that way.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 8, 2021 at 22:32
  • Thank you, commented in gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4155/… "Since for Earth Engine problems it's often not clear if the issue is with code or data, and since reproducing the problem found in EE requires EE access (even though the problem might exist in other mirrors of the same dataset), I think I'd like to see such questions on GIS SE." Dec 8, 2021 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


Any speculation that the question you referenced was closed because it involved Open Data seems unwarranted, although I do note that a user not involved in the close/re-open voting process did mention Open Data in a comment.

The timeline for the question shows:

  1. I voted to close the question for our Custom Close Reason of:

Not suitable for this site → When seeking help to debug/write/improve code always provide the desired behavior, a specific problem/error and the shortest code (as formatted text, not pictures) needed to reproduce it in the question body. Providing a clear problem statement and a code attempt helps others to help you.

  1. Asker edited their question but did not include "code (as formatted text, not pictures) needed to reproduce it in the question body". That edit triggered the question to enter the review queue.

  2. Three users reviewed the question and voted to leave the question closed because the "Original close reason(s) were not resolved"

  3. Asker edited their question and included code as formatted text in the question body.

  4. Five users reviewed the question and voted to re-open the question, thereby re-opening the question.

I can see no reason to "close such questions with a comment about using Open Data instead" because this question was closed for lacking code as formatted text in the body of the question, and its closure was unrelated to Open Data.

  • Thank you for the explanation. I wonder if "Not suitable for this site" is the right shorthand for a case like this when the question is roughly suitable, but the user simply has not provided the code. I think this is why I thought that this question was redirected to OpenData. What other close reasons exist? Dec 8, 2021 at 23:20
  • @SimonIlyushchenko GIS SE does not have control of the "Not suitable for this site" wording which is pre-pended by SE software to GIS SE's Custom Close Reasons. In this case the one we use to insist code be included as formatted text - see gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4006/…
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 8, 2021 at 23:40
  • For the standard close reasons over which GIS SE has no control see gis.stackexchange.com/help/closed-questions
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 8, 2021 at 23:41
  • For the Custom Close Reasons that we've worked up as a community over many years and why we feel we need them see gis.meta.stackexchange.com/…
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 8, 2021 at 23:43
  • I just noticed that there seemed not to be an easy way to view GIS SE's custom close reasons "at a glance" so I created an FAQ for that at gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5322/…
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 9, 2021 at 0:04
  • Would "Needs details or clarity" be more suitable for the cases when there is no code? It's not exactly "needs code", but it seems to be more actionable than "Not suitable for this site". Dec 9, 2021 at 0:28
  • @SimonIlyushchenko Close voters are free to choose whatever close reason they think may be required to help improve the question and make it ready for answering. Close votes and those reasons are reviewed by the community. In this case it appears the three reviewers agreed with the reason the close voter used. Something that is often overlooked when thinking about closed questions is that it is one of the key mechanisms used for making sure SE sites are filled with clear questions having clear answers rather than many unfruitful discussions about problems. Wrongly closed => vote to re-open.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 9, 2021 at 0:51
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    thank you for all the explanations. I will pay more attention to closed questions. Dec 9, 2021 at 0:54

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