Looking at this answer, there is this graph:

the graph in question

It had the default "enter image description here" text for the alt. However, I don't think that such a big image with so many datapoints shown is possible to meaningfully describe. I'm not sure what to do with the default text.

If there's not a good way to describe an image, is it better to delete the default text, or leave it there?

  • This means adding some OCR/AI to the code. It will make it x100 more complicated, surely breaking other things and making it much slower. I'll pass. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 15 '19 at 15:06
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    @Shadow what does that mean? – Stormblessed Sep 15 '19 at 15:06
  • hmm... I thought you meant you want the site itself to detect such images and remove the default text. You mean to ask if you should do it yourself? – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 15 '19 at 15:20
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    @ShadowTheDragonWizard The OP isn't asking for any new features to be added or for the code to be modified in any way; they're just asking what they should do when they don't know how to describe a picture. Am I missing something? – Tanner Swett Sep 15 '19 at 15:23

That picture is absolutely possible to describe. Imagine that someone says to you, "I can't see that picture; what is it?" Would you really tell them "I don't know how to put it into words, it's completely impossible to describe"? No, you'd tell them what it is. So do that.

In fact, the picture contains a description of itself, so you can just use that. You can describe this picture as

A comparison of the median estimates of the CSCC for the four BHM damage model specifications.

Or, perhaps, you could say it's

A picture consisting of four world maps, each colored according to one of the four damage model specifications.

Even "Some maps with text underneath" would be better than no description at all.

Even if a picture doesn't contain any recognizable objects, you can always describe it somehow, as in "A colorful picture with a variety of shapes, but no recognizable objects" or "A blurry picture with subdued colors and a handful of unrecognizable shapes."

There's no such thing as "an image that's not really possible to describe."

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    "No picture is undescribable" - well, there was that one... (Safe for work) – Jenayah Sep 15 '19 at 17:19

Better to leave it there. If you have no value to add, no point editing it and bumping it. We can't fix it all, only where it counts and editing out the text ... well leaves a big nothing there over "The user didn't know how best to use alt text"

That said the words in bold look like a perfect start for an image description. Where you can't effectively say what is in it "A series of 4 maps each showing one of the 4 BHM damage model specifications" seems like a good start... It lets a person know what it is off the alt text

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