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has 71 questions, and has the guidance text "Questions about imagery devices on spacecraft and probes."

has 26 questions, and no guidance text.

It appears that the latter is simply a subset of the former. The latter has questions about cameras affixed to spacecraft or on robotic arms, how they are designed/built, and their image artifacts. The former seems to include these, plus handheld cameras (e.g. Hasselblad), those affixed to spacesuits, those at launch or landing sites, adapting commercial cameras for space usage, calibration, and camera damage. Twelve questions carry both tags.

Do we need both of these tags? Is there a meaningful and useful distinction?

There is also a tag, but I believe it is distinctive enough to warrant a separate tag.

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  • $\begingroup$ Considering that uhoh has written a considerable amount of questions for both tags, his perspective here may be illuminating. (puns intended) $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Nov 15 '20 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for asking this, I had the same question. I also noted that the guidance text excludes the recent questions, since they were about cameras on boosters, not "spacecraft and probes". $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Nov 15 '20 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon ouch! and ouch again! I'll admit that I have a blind spot when it comes to this and have trouble picturing how others view the issue, but I see that you've framed it nicely. Just as photons can be thought of as waves and particles at times, so goes my ambivalence on this topic. While those image-generating Hasselblad boxes that humans held might really be distinct from Junocam or the GoPro's stuck on to things as ad-hoc data collectors, if you think they should share one tag and others agree, then that's the way it will be, I won't mention the distinction again. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 16 '20 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ ...except that should one tag cover those Hasselblads, the four imaging things on TESS, the Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera, the GoPro's, the things on tripods people use to photograph the ISS crossing in front of the Moon and the device the ISS astronauts use to do live video broadcasts all under one tag? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 16 '20 at 11:24
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    $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon Since the votes stayed stable for a while, I went ahead and did the merge suggested in my answer. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Nov 23 '20 at 15:26
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I suggest merging into .

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  • $\begingroup$ I commented... $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 16 '20 at 11:25
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I think if a distinction should be made there, the tags we have now do not effectively do so. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Nov 16 '20 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ I agree 100% with that. Would you say that while if someone had the time and it wasn't so disruptive to the active queue in principle a new and better tagging scheme could be possible, but in practice the benefits of that don't outweigh the realities? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 16 '20 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I don't think the current scheme warrants breaking it down further $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Nov 16 '20 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ I think additional tags may be helpful though $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Nov 16 '20 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ got it, sounds good! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 16 '20 at 11:35
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While the current situation is unfortunately tag salad, there are a couple of points where I think there's room for granularity:

  • Not all uses of cameras relevant to space exploration involves cameras located in space (like photography from the ground). In space/not in space is an objective criterion.

  • Cameras intended to be operated by humans in contrast to automated cameras on probes.

  • Video cameras, which have a somewhat different purpose from still image cameras.

  • Film cameras, which while now obsolete have their place in space history.

  • Cameras taking images outside the visible spectrum of light.

It may be worth it to do some research on the ~100 questions on this topic, to see if one of the categories above form a meaningful subset.

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  • $\begingroup$ I will continue to not express further opinions by exercising a "grandfather clause" and only extending my previous options; "people cameras;" the imaging devices that humans use to generate images of stuff and devices that are used to generate images of humans should be in one bucket, and "space cameras" that are in space and take pictures of "stuff in space" sort-of by themselves or in a robotic way should be in the other bucket. If for example it's a pannable, zoomable camera outside the ISS controlled by a crew member in real time it's a "people camera". Baker-Nunn camera's a space camera. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 17 '20 at 4:48

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