The portrayal of data is an important aspect to handling geographic information. The portrayal of data is independent of the data but closely related to the data. That is the attributes within the data set drive the portrayal process, but there may be many different portrayals for the same data.
DGIWG bases its portrayal mechanism on the ISO 19117 portrayal standard. This standard is feature centred and rule based. That is, the attributes associated with each feature drive rules that select symbols, fills and other presentation output techniques.
The development of portrayal within DGIWG is still ongoing. DGIWG project D22 describes the "Implementation of a prototype DGIWG Portrayal Registry". This register is intended to complement DGIWG project D06 that describes an implementation standard for portrayal. Future projects define specific symbol sets for the portrayal of Geospatial Intelligence Related Data and Portrayal for Hardcopy Cartographic Symbols.
Work on the DGIWG portrayal register is currently underway. The register will contain both symbols and rules that invoke the symbols under certain conditions. There will be a need provide several interfaces to the portrayal register to allow for viewing and access to symbols and rules, to allow for downloading of symbol and rule sets and eventually for a portrayal service that will render features provided to it.