When and how often should geographic tags such as united-states & uk be used?
Any question where the country or region is valid should include a geographic tag of some kind. We should be editing questions to include these and promoting their use to new users of the site.
Couple of reasons:
- It prevents confusion and answers that aren't relevant (i.e. well, in the UK we.... closely followed by well, I'm based in Norway so that doesn't help
- It improves the SEO quality of the site. Tags are well indexed by Google, etc. Ultimately our traffic will be driven by search engines. People want information for their region so will search for this region.
- Laws and procedures can vary considerably per country, (e.g. wild camping is permitted in some countries, others it's illegal)
- Kit selection will vary per country. Cold countries will be very different to hot ones
- It may be a good idea to ask the same question twice but be relevant to different countries, see above, example question: Island camping tent advice
Examples of questions needing geographic tags (some with, some without):
- What are the most recommended guide/maps to bring on a PCT thru-hike?
- Where in Europe is wild camping permitted?
- Island camping tent advice
- What are the most common stinging plants to be aware of in North America?
I'm not saying all questions should include a geographic tag. I'm just saying their use should be encouraged!
In addition to what Liam said, for questions where people ask for repair guides, licenses, gear guides etc though not in the sense of shopping but like 'What is good in a first aid kit' as an example location tags could be helpful here.
This is to do with cultural and language barriers as well as pricing - what is a 'cheap and great item for a first aid kit - I never go without one!' in the USA could actually be a small fortune in other countries.
This was something which came to light in my question about What items to leave in a geocache as some of the really neat little items suggested came in dollars, and when postage etc is added and converted to pound with the addition of VAT above £10... you can see where this leads, and for some people can lead to confusion. In some cases it would be better to simply describe the item and not post a link to where to buy it - but that can be as difficult to manage.
That being said, some questions come deliberately with an open location - where you can give a view from other countries as not every climate will give the same answer but knowing more is suitable such as Setting up a shelter.
So I agree that this could lead to going overboard with tagging but some locational tags would be very useful - especially when it is clearly mentioned in the question or title.