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What are keywords?

There are two distinct uses of "keywords" on AQ. This help entry describes how keywords are included in a clue listing, enabling users to do a search for a keyword and pull up all the boxes that have been tagged with that keyword. See the other help entry for how keywords are used in the trip planner.

Many times, people want to search for letterboxes that match specific criteria that Atlas Quest simply does not support. Usually, requests come in the form of attributes-such as, "Can we have a cemetery attribute" to search on? The answer, invariably, is always no. There are an infinite number of special-case attributes that could be created, and a list with hundreds of possible attributes isn't particularly helpful when most of them are of no interest to most people. Searching the clues for specific keywords, such as cemetery helps, but it's not perfect either. Many times, the word is spelled incorrectly or the clue uses common variations of the word (cemeteries, graveyard, etc.)

So support for keywords has been created. In a lot of ways, it's like a member-created attribute. People will be able to search for your keywords, and it won't get mixed up with false positives that a clue search might generate. Four keywords have already been defined:
Keyword Meaning
cemetery The letterbox is located in or near a cemetery.
historical A vague term that means something interesting happened where this letterbox was planted, not including the fact that a letterbox was hidden in this location.
nightbox A box that should be found at night. Not that it can be found at night, but rather that it's designed to be found at night. In daylight, the box may be difficult or impossible to find.
restarea The letterbox is located at a rest area, rest stop, truck stop, travel plaza, or whatever you want to call them along a major road. Ideal for nabbing while on a long drive to get out an stretch one's legs.

A valid keyword must have between 3 and 15 alphanumeric characters in it, and must not use any spaces since spaces are used to separate multiple keywords. (This is why the keywords reststop and nightbox are one word.) If certain keywords start becoming popularly used, they may be added as a designed pre-defined keyword in the future. Keywords are not case-sensitive, so feel free to capitalize keywords if that makes sense or helps readability.

A full list of all keywords used by everyone can be found at https://www.atlasquest.com/boxes/actions/viewkeywords.html.

The following keywords are suggested by boxers, with guidelines on how the keywords are intended to be used:
Keyword Meaning
airportThe letterbox is within easy walking distance of an airport so that a private pilot may find it without having to secure ground transportation.
artworkThe letterbox is located at or near a work of art (sculpture, mural, etc.), planted to call attention to that work of art.
hauntedThe letterbox is located at or near a location reported as haunted or where some sort of paranormal occurrence is supposed to have happened.
horseA good place to bring a horse.
InterstateA quick find along an interstate or similar limited-access highway, either in a rest area or within a couple of blocks of an exit. If the stop takes longer than a potty break, it doesn't qualify!
library The letterbox is located in or around a library.
mountainbikeA designated ATB trail. Don't use this keyword for paved bike trails; mountain bikers who would enjoy paved trails can use the keyword "roadbike".
picnicA good place to stop for a picnic.
restaurantThe letterbox is located in or around a recommended restaurant.
roadBikeA good place to bring a road bicycle. This generally means there is a good place to ride a bike, and it's paved. It usually means a good place for rollerblades, too.
scenicrouteThe letterbox is located on or near a scenic highway.
touristThe letterbox is located at a place recommended for tourists to visit. The clues can be followed by anyone without local knowledge, although they may require some google research ahead of time. If they do require google research, they have the Mental Puzzle attribute as well.
trail namesJust type in the name of any hiking trail, such as appalachiantrail or pacificcresttrail. Remember to omit spaces. As a general guideline, the box doesn't have to be directly on the trail, but it should be close enough that a thru-hiker would want to hunt for it.
TransCanadaThe letterbox is located somewhere along the TransCanada Highway which stretches from St. John's Newfoundland to Victoria, BC, either in a rest area or within a couple of blocks of an exit. If the stop takes longer than a potty break, it doesn't qualify!
tributeA box that is planted in tribute to a person or group of people. This is not intended for tributes to historical personages -- we can use historical for that -- rather, for boxes like the ones planted for weddings, loved ones who have died, special teachers, etc.
wildlifeThe letterbox is in a location where animals may be observed.

One keyword that is remarkably popular but not suggested is "park." The problem with this keyword is that it tells you absolutely nothing. A city park host to a child's jungle gym, a national park, a car park, and a ball park are all very different places, but without a qualifier, it's meaningless, you have no idea what it means. In many instances, people are trying to use multi-word keywords such as "state park"-but AQ treats those as two distinct and separate keywords. "State" by itself is as useless as "park," but "statepark" might be a legitimately useful keyword, along with nationalpark, countypark, citypark, ballpark, etc.

The following multi-word keywords are commonly misused by boxers. If multi-word keywords are used, do not insert spaces or hyphenate words.
Incorrect format Correct keyword
parking lotparkinglot
picnic areasee picnic
ice cream or ice-creamicecream
city parkcitypark
boy scouts or girl scoutsboyscouts or girlscouts
kid-friendly, family-friendly, child-friendly Remove the hyphen; ie. kidfriendly
boat requiredboatrequired
open spaceopenspace
post officepostoffice
nature trailnaturetrail
I-70, I-94, etc.AQ treats these hyphenated interstates as two distinct keywords, "I" and "70"/"94", etc. Use the keyword interstate and list the Interstate number in the synopsis, if necessary.