Characters in keys

Any valid Unicode character can appear in an OSM key but usually only lower case latin letters (a-z) and the underscore (_) are used. Sometimes the colon (:) is added as a separator character.

Statistics overview

  Count Fraction Characters in key
A 1508 29.07% Only latin lowercase letters (a to z) and underscore (_), first and last characters are letters.
B 2829 54.53% Like A but with one or more colons (:) inside.
C 708 13.65% Like B but with uppercase latin letters or letters from other alphabets.
D 21 0.40% Like C but contains at least one whitespace character (space, tab, new line, carriage return, or from other alphabets).
E 5 0.10% Like C but contains possibly problematic characters =+/&<>;'"?%#@\,.
F 117 2.26% Everything else.
5188 100% Total

Keys with whitespace

Keys that contain whitespace characters such as space, tab, new line, carriage return, or whitespace characters from other alphabets.
Whitespace in keys can be confusing, especially at the beginning or end of the key, because they are invisible. Generally the underscore (_) should be used instead.

Keys with possibly problematic characters

Keys that contain possibly problematic characters: =+/&<>;'"?%#@\,. These characters can be problematic, because they are used to quote strings in different programming languages or have special meanings in XML, HTML, URLs, and other places. The equal sign is used often as separator between tag keys and values.
Keys that appear in this list are not necessarily wrong though. But in many cases they are just results of some error.

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