The Portrayal DWG is being established to address a gap in the OGC standards baseline with regards to the portrayal of geospatial data, including the standardization of portrayal rules, registry data, styles, and encoding formats. Portrayal concerns the way that information, in this case geospatial data, is presented to humans. Cartography, one form of map portrayal, is one of the oldest of human graphical portrayal skills.
Traditionally, conveying spatial information involved the use of maps. However, as the types and complexity of geospatial information has changed in-step with technological advances, so have the requirements for the portrayal of this information. For example, it is now common for geospatial data to be portrayed (visualized) in areas such as 3D, augmented reality, and gaming & simulation. Additionally, the multi-dimensional portrayal is rapidly expanding as advances in information technology and computer graphics make more visualization alternatives available.
Many of these technology advances are currently being considered across several OGC Domain and Standards Working Groups. However, they often consider only a portion of the portrayal challenge or address a portrayal solution tailored to a specific issue and not a broader approach within a unified framework.
OGC will benefit from a coherent organization to ensure that common and consistent frameworks and approaches are applied to portrayal issues.
The Portrayal Domain Working Group, therefore, will bring together a community to define a common portrayal framework, provide direction to portrayal Standards Working Groups, and provide guidance to other Domain Working Groups on portrayal concerns.
OGC membership has registered a concern that without a portrayal framework with updated consensus standards and Best Practices, divergence will continue in the community and interoperability will be inhibited. External to OGC, multiple communities of interest such as the Defence Geospatial Information Working Group (DGIWG), the U.S. National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG), the American, British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand (ABCANZ) Armies program, the meteorological and oceanographic community, and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) have advocated for increased portrayal capabilities supported by OGC standards.