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5 Trends for the Future in Geographic Information Systems

Geographic information science is a branch of geography that combines highly technological tools with traditional mapping methods. While much of this technology is already in use in mobile devices, cars, and transportation methods, there are many other types of ways that this technology is expected to spread in the future. Expect to see geographic information science growing into even more industries as the technology becomes more standard all over the world. Here are five future trends for geographic information science technology.

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1. Indoor Navigation
While global positioning system technology, or GPS, is nothing new, tomorrow’s outlook for GPS has its role expanding. Today, millions of people around the world use GPS to aid them with finding places in the form of driving directions. GPS is used for exterior locations only because of the nature of the satellite positioning system, and in the future, you may see positioning systems start to be used indoors. An indoor positioning system, or IPS, could help people find their way around the inside of large buildings, such as schools, universities, libraries, or stadiums using wireless signals.
2. Livestock Sensors
Geographic information science may also help the outlook of the agricultural and livestock industry. In the future, animals like cattle and chickens could be equipped with GPS sensors to help collect data for farmers and the food industry. These wearable devices may assist farmers with locating lost individual animals or with information about where an entire herd is moving. Some researchers predict that new wearable sensor technology may even be able to pick up on the signs of illness or conditions that could lead to public health hazards like salmonella being spread.
3. Traffic GPS Data
While traffic GPS data is something that is commonly used by everyday drivers working to avoid gridlock on their commute, the future of this geographic information science data may have systems and infrastructure acting smarter. Look for new types of GPS technology sensors to be placed throughout various traffic routes, such as on road signs, along side buildings, and beside other inanimate objects. Using solar power, these devices may be able to give traffic and city officials real-time data about road conditions and predictions about where accidents may occur.
4. Location Services
You may also see more use of location-based services with commercial applications and marketing for companies. With new advances in geographic information science reliability and data collection, more organizations may find location services to be easier and cheaper to incorporate in their marketing and promotion plan. Future graduates of GIS programs from schools like USC Online may help with more knowledge of 3D GIS applications for a variety of industries.
5. Social Media
Social media is another part of the future of GIS and its technologies. As social scientists learn more information about social trends and possible topics of controversy through social media, world leaders can use more strategies to manage these issues more effectively.
There are many new technologies and tasks on the horizon for GIS and other related fields. As the future takes shape, expect to see GIS being part of many new industries as well.