Does the stackexchange network allow for crowdsourcing of answers?

There are four questions of particular interest that would benefit the Aviation Stackexchange community, but the answer would be an aggregation of data rather than an article with several sources. For example:

  1. In each year since 1903, how many OEMs were there and what were they?
  2. In each year since 1903 how many models of aircraft were there and what were they?

This is the kind of data collection project in progress here: https://github.com/Society-of-Flight-Test-Engineers/open-flight-test-meta-data.

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List-type questions don't work very well on Stack Exchange sites, especially for such huge answers as you're proposing. The site works best for questions with a single answer that can be explained in a couple of paragraphs. The format makes it very inconvenient to edit larger answers, and doesn't support that level of collaboration. It's hard to keep collections of data up-to-date, and even if you add the data, you can't search or retrieve it in a structured way.

I think the questions you propose would be closed as too broad. They wouldn't benefit the community if the information is incomplete and/or hard to access, and they'd create a large maintenance burden for reviewers and moderators.

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  • $\begingroup$ It seems that what you are describing is something that could be easily overcome. $\endgroup$ – Mark Jones Jr. Jan 27 '18 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkJonesJr. But why do it? Wikipedia (or rather, the software powering it, MediaWiki) already does that, and does it pretty well. Why shoehorn something into a Q&A format if it's a poor fit for the Q&A format? Not everything has to be on Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ – user Jan 27 '18 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling I can't see how Wikipedia does it. For the questions in particular, there are no answers on wikipedia. But the reason is two fold: cultivating collaboration and to be more than a substitute for google. $\endgroup$ – Mark Jones Jr. Jan 28 '18 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkJonesJr. Wikipedia has tons of "lists of X" articles on all kinds of subjects, plus it has its system of categories. If none exists that caters to your specific need (I didn't mean to imply that any did in this specific case, only that Wikipedia has solved the problem in general in a manner that can be used to solve this specific instance of the problem), there's nothing preventing you from creating one. I don't know why you bring up Google, though, as Google is completely unrelated to Wikipedia, but that's another discussion for perhaps another day... $\endgroup$ – user Jan 28 '18 at 12:30

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