I'd like to see an idea like this image map on the tags page for bicycles.se. I don't know enough about the structure behind S/OFU sites to know if this is a possibility inside the intent and purpose of S/OFU, but it shouldn't be difficult from a technical standpoint, and I think it would help users who don't have a grasp of the technical vocabulary for our site get more accurate information, more quickly.

It could also be used on a page for definitions and terminology directly.

I also see it as a method of getting accurate tagging, if it could be inserted into the question creation dialog. For example, if the tagging part of that dialog included the image map, and could request that you select the portion of the bike that your question relates to. Something like that could get more technical, and I'm not sure what the limits are for modifying basic structures of the S/OFU model.

This question started as a discussion of this meta.bicycles answer:

Generating questions?

I see something like this image below. This is not original art or idea, just to be clear.

Image map for bicycles.se tag cloud/definitions page

This is my first meta.so question. If I need to include additional info, or edit/change something, or am just out of line, please let me know.


3 Answers 3


I think that would be a pretty good idea. Often, when I am looking for tags, I just don't know what tags are there really. Grouping them and with this image map idea, would be pretty tidy, and it should help ease the search for tags.

  • Thanks. I think it's a good idea. Just don't know if it's inside the rules/intent of the site, or what ability we have to influence basic elements of the site this way.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 5:40

This would be cool for travel too - world map instead of bicycle diagram.


I think it would help users who don't have a grasp of the technical vocabulary for our site get more accurate information, more quickly

There aren't many location-on-bike-specific tags on the first page of 36 tags: 'tire', 'chain', 'brakes', 'wheels', 'frames', 'pedals', 'gears', 'derailleur', and 'bottom-bracket' (9 out of 36, or 25%).

So, that picture would be inapplicable to most (75%) tags; and most or all of these 9 tags are easy terms to understand, and don't need illustrating.

The picture is not only inapplicable to most tags, but is perhaps (I haven't counted them) also inapplicable to most questions.

Having a picture (a first-class design element) on the Tags page might suggest, presuppose, or imply a bias that questions on the site should be about bike components ... not about holistic bikes, or riders, or situations on rides, or etc. That is an appropriate bias for the Park site from which you took the illustration, but not imo for the SE site.

I think that SE sites are designed to be searchable using Google: i.e. what matters (all that matters) is that the text (content) is there, that it's indexed (tags may or may not help with this), and that the (text) Search functions work.

  • It's not intended to comprehensive. It's intended to help users without the vocabulary to ask technical questions in a comprehensible manner, so they get answer that are accurate, thorough and fast. I think that it will help, for those questions which are technical in nature. No one is suggesting that we limit the tags or questions to those things.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:52
  • It will change nothing in terms of how the site is indexed or searched, and it will have no effect on the ability to find an answer via google. And i think that the point of an SE site is to become the best resource for answers on its particular topic. I don't think that it should be limited to text answers. I don't think anyone believes that it should be limited to text. Or why would we need the ability to post photos, hyperlinks and other dynamic content in our answers?
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:58
  • It's not about limiting the questions to a particular set of topics. It's about helping to organize the questions we already get on technical topics in a more consistent form, and one which doesn't presuppose a particular level of knowledge from the questioner. As for the number of tags that would be relevant to that image, I think there would be more, and more accurate, technical tags if there was structure behind the tags that are offered. But in know way do I think that every tag could or should be represented by this one image. In fact, if you look at the mockup, it has 5 image tabs.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:04
  • While I don't doubt that all the parts of a bike are known to you, can you tell me honestly that every user has that level of proficiency which makes those parts easy to explain? And if you choose to extend the idea beyond the technical, you could use a different kind of image to convey non-tech subjects. If it was found to be necessary.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:06
  • @zenbike Also you can put an illustration in a question or comment (e.g. one which acts as a table-of-contents), or perhaps in a tag wiki. I don't know about an image map, though.
    – ChrisW
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:20
  • "I don't know about an image map, though." - No: no support for the <map> tag.
    – ChrisW
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:24
  • How many non bike geek users recognize the term bottom bracket? Head tube? Down tube? Headset? Of course you can say that we'll get the point anyway. You could also say that there are no need for tags at all, because once you read the post, you'll know what it's about. Or for that matter, that we don't need the existing terminology index question that's currently on the site. Again, the point is to get the existing organizational structure to be more accurate when the question is asked, so that you don't have the need to go back and forth about what is part is really meant by the OP.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:46
  • The point is to have to edit less questions after the fact, because they wil be better written to begin with. It's unfortunate that you don't find it valuable to be efficient and accurate about how we ask our questions to begin with. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:48
  • As to the technical requirements, that would be why we're here talking about it. I'm not asking them to allow us to make repeatable, editable posts, but it's a simple enough thing to bake in to the page, if it is good for usability. That post is talking about what is allowed for answers and questions. I'm sure there is a wider subset in use for the page structure.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:54
  • @zenbike If it's useful, I see its being useful after the fact: as a way of identifying and grouping tags (e.g. 'gears' and 'derailleurs', or e.g. the various kinds of brake and brake cable), just like visual 'tag synonyms': to help subsequent/future users who want to search all the existing questions by the category of component which they're asking about. I don't think it helps in asking new questions: unless you want questions which ask about, and can be pre-categorised as asking about, specific components.
    – ChrisW
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:56
  • Reread the OP. "I also see it as a method of getting accurate tagging, if it could be inserted into the question creation dialog." I don't know what it would require from a technical standpoint. But that is one of the ways I see it being used. Not required, especially if it doesn't apply to the question, but offered as a visual way to tag components questions. It was originally suggested to link only to the top question for each category, but that seemed limited.
    – zenbike
    Jul 15, 2011 at 14:06

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