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How will GIS technology be used 5 years from now ... and in 50 years?

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closed as not constructive by Kirk Kuykendall, scw Feb 10 '11 at 6:02

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Can this actually be answered? – Petr Krebs Feb 9 '11 at 16:45
I've flagged this question, asking moderator to tag it as community wiki.… – Kirk Kuykendall Feb 9 '11 at 16:50
I've changed it to community wiki, but I actually think it should be closed and moved to GIS chat. Why? Because humans are incredibly poor at predicting the future, especially when it comes to technology and it's uses. I just don't think it's possible to have "good" answers, in the Stack Exchange sense. I chose the wiki route because as moderator I can't vote to close without actually closing. – matt wilkie Feb 9 '11 at 20:00
Yeah, probably should close it ... maybe I shoulda stuck with my original phrasing: "Is Google Evil?" :)… – Kirk Kuykendall Feb 9 '11 at 20:12
The last shapefile is imported into a database (50 years not five)? – geographika Feb 9 '11 at 21:54

In 5 Years, Augmented Reality Maps:

enter image description here

In 50 Years: Humanity has reached the Technologial Singularity, leading to:
Universe mapping
Multiverse mapping
Concave Dison Sphere Maps

enter image description here

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In 5 Years - Analytical Online Mapping - 'Geoprocessing on the Fly'

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In 50 Years - Data Intelligence Mapping - Data can find other data surrounding it even if disconnected.

Automated Fleet Management - Will guide driver-less hydrogen trucks for transporting products from A to B.

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In this Guardian interview Google CEO Eric Schmidt said:

The convergence of search, location and social is the next big narrative. Schmidt says that people who “opt in” to the system will begin experiencing a much richer relationship with technology, aided by their computerised “personal assistant”. “We still think of search as something you type,” Schmidt said. “Perhaps a decade from now, you will think, well, that was interesting, I used to type but now it just knows. “How does it know? Well, on mobiles we know where you are, down to the nearest foot. You’ve chosen to log in, with your permission, and it knows where you are and it can provide a personalised service.

This is especially interesting in context of what he said in 2009:

"I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, but if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines including Google do retain this information for some time, and it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities."

Looks like the Patriot Act didn't get extended though.

I wonder if Schmidt is also tracking Q&A sites:

“The computing world is very good at ... things involving large numbers – such as 'ask a million people a question’.

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In 5 years? People will still be using arcview 3.2!

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AV 3.2a here... it's still faster to join tables than arcinfo 10 – Mapperz Feb 9 '11 at 22:43

I would love to see shared utility data--especially as a homeowner, everytime we have contacted call-before-you-dig, there is at least one agency that doesn't make it to mark the yard. But I know that will never happen. ;)

I'm curious about the use of LiDAR for mapping bodies of water and caverns. My knowledge to LiDAR itself is limited, as it's something I'm just getting into. But I think that imaging the "unknown" will open a whole new world of possibilities.

I think disaster recovery and prevention is just starting to take off, and that we'll see the need/use for these increase by leaps & bounds in the next couple of years.

I do have to say, I feel lucky to be in an line of work that both interests me and has such an open future. I know so many others who aren't so lucky.

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It may be a set of web components that interact automatically to answer to our questions. For each question, required data and processing servers would be automatically invoked and associated to provide THE answer. That would be cool.

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