This question here, asks if anyone knows what the mountain in the background picture is. Should we be keeping these questions open? If yes, where is the end to "identify the mountain/dessert/ocean" questions? There's even a "mountain-identifying" tag. Not sure if this makes any sense.


3 Answers 3


For me the answer to the question "should this be on topic" is emphatically No.

For me one of the major points of SE sites is; to be a repository of useful information (not just answering the askers question but providing a placeholder so someone else doesn't have to ask the same question again).

Number of issues:

  • Is this question useful to anyone else?
  • How would anyone find this question again.
  • Most of these photos (that one included as iStockphoto is pay site) is probably covered by copy write issues.
  • Will the site descend into a pub quiz of "spot the mountain", "name this person", etc. etc. type question.
  • 1
    My point exactly. I have voted for closing the question in contention. Jan 13, 2014 at 11:17
  • 1
    As of now, not too many silly, bad questions are there on the site. But yes, I am surprised about some of the questions still being open. As the site grows, it is expected to mature and the downvoting/closing will become more aggressive. Jan 13, 2014 at 11:25
  • 2
    Agree. And good point mentioning about copy write issues. Not all might be aware of these. Jan 13, 2014 at 11:29
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    First it is copyright, not copy write :-)! Second, it would most likely fall into fair use.
    – ppl
    Apr 20, 2014 at 15:56
  • I agree 100%. It could be a slippery slope, and that question already spawned this. A picture taken by someone who genuinely wants to know what they saw is different. For instance, the OP of this took the picture, and has a personal reason for asking the question. He provided a lot of detail and context. It also took place on his outdoor excursion, and might interest other travelers going to that area. Sep 20, 2017 at 23:41

I think its okay, its kind of fun to pull out Google Earth and go hunt down the locations. With that said, I think there are a couple of guidelines the site should go with.

  • The titles need to be unique and descriptive of the image.
  • No self-answering as if you know the location, there isn't much point in asking.
  • The more people have seen the image the better, ie if it was used in as a background image for a new line of computers.

Yes, mountain identifying assistance is acceptable. For example, a user may wonder which mountain a park's promotional pamphlet is featuring.

Other users may wonder exactly the same thing. Provided that the question is descriptive other may benefit from it.

It should not be limited to just moutain identifying. They are simply, generally, valid questions.

  • I disagree. If you allow mountain identifying, you should allow all other geological identifying as well. It would lead to a chaos beyond control. Apr 23, 2014 at 6:59
  • @Unsung Woah, that sounds scary! :-)
    – ppl
    Sep 1, 2014 at 20:50
  • The problem I have with this answer (and thus with geographic identifying) that there is no way to search the questions/answers. How should you know if there is already an question picturing your mountain, and how should you find these questions via a search engine? Apr 18, 2015 at 10:37
  • @PaulPaulsen See this question/answer. There is naming convention for this type of questions already. e.g. identify-this-mountain.
    – ppl
    Apr 23, 2015 at 22:18

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