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I think this is a really bad idea. There is a huge difference between a bicycle rental place and one that rents clothes. OSM in general has worked better with specific tags than with a generic tag and additional tags to identify what the place actually is. One reason is that it's easier for mappers to guess what the tag might be; the second is that using generic tags imposes a large burden on data consumers who now have to filter out lots of stuff which is not of interest to them when previously they could just collect a specific tag. Additionally it goes against the major precedents: car rental & bicycle rental.

I am not against separating product and service business within the shop key (in fact I suggested just such a set of categories 5 years ago), but shop=rental, like shop=trade is too generic. SK53 (talk) 14:35, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

So how would you tag a rental which offers atv:rental, snowmobile:rental, motorcycle:rental and sailboard:rental ? rtfm Rtfm (talk) 21:29, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

I'm looking for a way to map a Rent-a-Center (, which rents-to-own; appliances, furniture, electronic and more. We also have some local businesses who rent the same, plus; heavy machinery, trailers, tents, tables, chairs, bounce-houses, nearly anything.... Seeing shop=rental I thought that was a good starting place, but then I read the controversy surrounding its vague nature. Any suggestions on how I should proceed? --TreeStryder (talk) 15:27, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

If there's no better way proposed (but just a "this won't work" / "we've always done it the conservative way"),
I don't consider to call it a controversy, see wikipedia:Controversy#Benford's_law.
A namespace is a well established way to express details in OSM, so just read Any_tags_you_like and then decide what to tag.
Don't let the naysayers avoid any progress. Feel free to contact me directly. Cheers Rtfm Rtfm (talk) 19:43, 26 January 2018 (UTC)