This meta question asks whether identifying geological features are on topic. As the votes are equally split between yes and no, and the post that started the original discussion has been reopened, I think the issue is worth revisiting.

I think it's on-topic because

  1. We have other identification questions on the site like it,

  2. These types of questions have been asked on the main site and have generally been well received.

To answer the objections,

  • Is this question useful to anyone else?

5,800 people have viewed this one, and most of that did not come from the HNQ.

  • How would anyone find this question again.

It just needs a descriptive title.

  • Most of these photos (that one included as iStockphoto is pay site) is probably covered by copy write issues.

This could be a problem, but it's not specific to the topic, and sometimes people are asking about pictures that they took.

  • Will the site descend into a pub quiz of "spot the mountain", "name this person", etc. etc. type question.

I highly doubt it.

  • 2
    Just to clarify my answer to this meta post my points weren't designed to say identifying geological features is off topic, just that I didn't see that particular post as useful (for the reasons I outlined). So I didn't intend this to be a blanket ban on this type of question.
    – user2766
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 13:47
  • 1
    That said it was quite some time ago and I think my feelings on the subject have mellowed now :)
    – user2766
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 13:49
  • I'm having trouble making the connection between the first set of bullet point questions, and the subject of this post. The bird call, fish, and tree questions are not "geological features" or "geological landmarks." Since that's the subject of the title in both this, and the previous, question, I don't think they fall under the category of "other identification questions on the site like it." I could see them in a discussion about identification questions, but they don't seem pertinent here. If anyone thinks I'm missing something, feel free to let me know! Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 1:36
  • @Sue They are identification questions and I was arguing that if those types of identification questions are on-topic then the geological features are also on-topic Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 1:39
  • Charlie, thanks for taking the time to respond and explain what you meant. I get it now! I wasn't interpreting the question properly. Sorry to have bothered you!! Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


My vote is to say that geological features should be on topic, with the following caveat:

The OP should have done some research first. The feature should not be one that is easily identified from a map or from general reference. To parody a question that would be off topic:

I was trekking in Nepal and there was this humongous mountain taller than any of the others with this, like, plume of snow streaming off the top. Does anyone know its name?

  • Big upvote from me ab2! I think this answer, which has been accepted, confirms my feeling that the second and third mountain identifications (about the computer-generated pictures) are off-topic. I've since voted to close them both. You can read my close reasons on each individual one if you'd like. The person who wrote the first one deserves credit because their question was well-written and also part of an actual outdoor activity, Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 21:45

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