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Public-images-osm logo.svg inscription
Beneventum, Arch of Trajan (III) (4749426050).jpg
Text which is written on an object. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: annotations
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: de facto

The key inscription=* is used for the text of inscriptions on buildings, memorials, advertising signs, and other objects.

How to map

Inscription represents text physically found on the feature in the real world.

| or the spaced slash / may be used to represent  line breaks and || or the spaced double slash // to  paragraph breaks depending on the style guide preferred.

Limited length

As for all values, there is a limit of 255 characters for the value of inscription=*

Referencing other data services

To overcome the length limit, the inscription might be added to:

  • wikidata=* - If this feature has a Wikidata item, it can be described there using [W]inscription (Property:P1684), as the character limit is set at 1,500.
  • openplaques:id=<ID number> - If it is a commemorative/historical plaque, you can also add the full inscription to and then link the entry with the OSM object.
  • inscription:url=* - URL where the inscription can be found on an external website; e.g. Wikisource (useful when the inscription is longer than the above limit).

Splitting across multiple keys

Some mappers overcome the limit by splitting the value across multiple keys, e.g.

Related tags

  • description=* - Additional information about an element, containing text not existent in real world.
  • man_made=geoglyph
  • Proposal:Epigraph, a proposal to map epigraphs (inscriptions) on their own (particularly useful to locate inscriptions on bigger objects and where there are several of them).

Possible tagging mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!