In this paper, a new feature representation for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is discussed. The representation addresses feature symmetries and constraints explicitly to make the basic model numerically robust. In previous SLAM work, complete initialization of features is typically performed prior to introduction of a new feature into the map. This results in delayed use of new data. To allow early use of sensory data, the new feature representation addresses the use of features that initially have been partially observed. This is achieved by explicitly modelling the subspace of a feature that has been observed. In addition to accounting for the special properties of each feature type, the commonalities can be exploited in the new representation to create a feature framework that allows for interchanging of SLAM algorithms, sensor and features. Experimental results are presented using a low-cost Web-cam, a laser range scanner, and combinations thereof.