I just asked a new question:

Help remembering name of hotel in near Łódź, Poland?

But I'm not really sure if this kind of questions are/should be allowed here. What do you think?

I personally think it is okay. For example gaming.SE has also an identify-this-game tag.


3 Answers 3


My fear is that such questions might be too "localized." That is, that an issue might be of concern to one person, and not to many others on the site.

A church that someone took a photo of might be "fair game." That is, if the church were striking, others might want to take photos of it, and also identify it.

On the other hand, a hotel might be a "one person only" sentimental memory. Unless there were something about it that was striking that would attract a lot of other people.

  • 3
    We also have to balance the "too localized" with the "long tail". Remember that the long tail is one of the goals of Stack Exchange. I think this is one of the hardest distinctions to call on SE. A building that's not striking to you but an ugly box might turn out to be an important Bauhaus or Le Corbusier to somebody else. Does a question shift from "too localized" to "long tail" when it benefits two people? Ten? A hundred? What hotel won't have a hundred guests in a decent season? Oct 6, 2011 at 7:03
  • @hippietrail: Then the followup issue is, how many of those 100 guests per season are likely to come to the site, either before, or after. The church, on the other hand, might have thousands of visitors, maybe a million over the course of a decade. In that case, we can count on some fraction of them coming to the site.
    – Tom Au
    Oct 6, 2011 at 13:04
  • Just my point. A hundred is as arbitrary as a thousand. Some might think a hundred is enough to not be too localized and others might think a thousand isn't enough to be a good long tail \-: Oct 6, 2011 at 17:37
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    I think it comes down to purpose. If we were doing it for the 'game' factor - 'hey guys, for fun this week, name this park' type of question, then I think the decision was no. But I'm hard-pressed to come up with a definitive line for what is 'too localised', so as long as they're travel related and meet our other criteria, I'm (currently) ok with it.
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 7, 2011 at 0:54

It's travel related, and I did the very same when going over my photos of Moscow; I couldn't figure out the name of a church I took a photo of - and Travel.SE came to the rescue :)

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    Didn't we decide at the time that it was a good game for chat but not for normal questions? At least I tried it on chat both here and japanese.SE for a building I saw from a ferry in Japan. Nobody here got it but somebody at japanese.SE got it. Oct 5, 2011 at 19:33
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    we raised it as an idea for a fun competition, and the idea of 'fun' was relegated to chat. If people have a real need for it, why shouldn't we help? They may have a photo of a magnificent temple in Mongolia for example, but have no idea where it is?
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 5, 2011 at 19:36
  • I do agree actually. But what things should we allow identification of? I love eating the street food everywhere and take photos of the new foods I eat but sometimes I don't know what they're called due to the language barrier. I have tried on cooking.SE with mixed results so far. Oct 6, 2011 at 6:58
  • I would also allow food identification, if cooking couldnt help Oct 6, 2011 at 7:04

There are variants of this too. Like "locate this". For instance I'm writing reviews of every place I stay on Trip Advisor because it's fun and because it will benefit future travellers.

This trip I have stayed at some truly quirky places, on of which was "Rosa's Guesthouse" in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.

I have photos of the view from the window and of the amazing eclectic interior decoration. In English I can only find the vaguest reference by Googling but I cannot find the address or even the street.

I'm going to ask this as a test question.

  • Can you do it on Wikitravel. org as well? ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 7, 2011 at 0:55
  • I don't add to WikiTravel because it become a company after being free and took everybody's contributions. I do correct English and wrong facts though and I certainly read it a lot. Oct 7, 2011 at 6:48

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