Advances in instrumentation, data processing, and classification of image data are planned for the future by NASA, NOAA, DoD, other government agencies, and the commercial sector through the next decade. The full exploitation of both image and other data types make it incumbent on the researcher to stay abreast of multiple areas. A review of these items, the projected massive quantities of data to be captured by satellites and aircraft in the future, and the merger of raster/vector data are considered in the context of problems visible now, new problems, and their impact on the researcher using GIS for future applications. Imaging systems include Landsat, SPOT, multichannel radiometers carried on aircraft, and camera systems. As data are made available new and different applications evolve. Projections of some known applications and their utility in the future of GIS, data volumes, and the sufficiency of small work stations to handle vast quantities of image data, population data, DTM data, and other GIS layers are addressed.