Any changes in the GIS field are based on advancements made in computers, electronic hardware, high speed connections (wireless or wired), and increased intricacy in GIS software and users. Global Navigating Satellite System (GNSS) will change with improved GNSS-receivers, miniaturization of GNSS technology, and system integration.
GNSS receivers will continue to decrease in price, shrink in size, and increase accuracy, making the technology more appealing to use. Chip GNSS systems have been getting smaller, some are smaller than the size of a single postage stamp. These small devices will be able to be easily incorporated into electronic devices such as wrist-watches, allowing outdoor enthusiasts (hikers, runners, and bicyclists) to monitor their location, speed, route, and log miles travelled. GNSS miniaturization allows the ability to collect more data in the field than in the past. New systems will add functions to GNSS such as the ability to take photos or videos of a feature, this could allow companies (i.e. utility companies) to easily identify a problem and identify the tools and/or parts that are needed to correct the problem.
Continents are moving around the Earth on tectonic plates, sometimes at rates of an inch per year (or faster!) This movement leads to the changes of relative positions over several decades. Geodesists (a scientist or a technician who engages in inquiry or applies research in the field of geodesy (Bolstad)) must factor in the movements to improve datums (NAD83 and ITRF). NAD83 is a datum used mostly in North America while ITRF is a datum used by the rest of the world. Both these datums are Earth-centered systems based on the coordinate location of points and their velocities.
Improved remote sensing includes more satellites, higher spatial and temporal resolution, improved digital cameras, and new sensor platforms (Bolstad). The Pleiades system is an example of this trend of improvements; these two satellites provide daily panchromatic and multispectral imaging. Aerial cameras are also improving in spatial resolution with higher radiometric sensitivity. These higher spatial resolutions will aid in many new accomplishments; detailed land surveys, property and asset management, business intelligence, strategic planning, and much more.
Bolstad, Paul. (2012). GIS Fundamentals: A First Text on Geographic Information Systems. White Bear Lake, MN: Eider Press.