For example, the question:

Plotting Smith and Sandwell global seafloor topography grids in ArcGIS Desktop?

originally had a title with an ending word of 'GIS', but the question body says it is specific to 'ArcGIS'.

Is it appropriate to edit the title to change from GIS to ArcGIS?
If the question had an ArcGIS tag would that change the answer?

  • 3
    The tag ArcGIS are sufficient - they are searchable too.
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 14:05
  • 1
    I'd also say the "GIS" could be removed from the title. It's presence in this forum should imply that. I'm assuming google would find it just as easily either way. Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 17:07
  • 1
    You have the privileges to make such edits, @Kirk :-).
    – whuber
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 21:31

2 Answers 2


Yes - the question title should accurately summarize its contents, irrespective of any tags used.

As indicated in this answer to Framing (asking) good Questions for GIS Stack Exchange? our focus is on getting all relevant content into the body first, summarizing that in the title next, and as the third priority providing suitable tags.

I think the current title of Plotting Smith and Sandwell global seafloor topography grids in ArcGIS Desktop? summarizes that question's contents better than the original.

However, it is important to note from that question's revision history, that making a minor edit to a title is best done in conjunction with other edits, in this case to both the body and its tags.

Prior to that edit the title said GIS (generic), the body said ArcGIS (platform specific), and the tags were even more generic, mentioning neither a GIS product nor a GIS platform. With the edit the title and tags were made product specific (ArcGIS Desktop) and the body had some grammar corrected.


If a question is tagged there is no need to include the software name in the title, because as it was said by @Mapperz tags are also searchable.

My main point is, unless there are other substantial edits to make, there is no need to edit 'GIS' by 'ArcGIS' and bump the question to the active page, and so removing visibility from new answers and questions with substantial edits.

If one is going to edit a question to make it more readable, to fix typos and grammar, to include proper tags, etc, or if the question was just asked (let's say recent 5, 10, 15 minutes); then, to edit like you suggest will be a matter of preference.

We need to be cautious with Meta posts about edits, because people can read this and think it is ok go massive editing posts to include the software name in the title, when the question is already properly tagged.

  • That question was not tagged with any GIS software until the same edit that made the title into a more accurate summary of the question's body. If I thought an edit were made only to include a software name in its title then as a reviewer I would normally reject it as too trivial.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:26
  • Ok. Note the OP wrote "Does the question having an arcgis tag change the answer?". I chose to answer along these lines, thereby I began with "If a question is tagged arcgis-desktop...". (@PolyGeo) Commented May 26, 2016 at 12:12

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