I think it is important to consider the types advances shown below and their promulgation into all levels of popular culture as clear indications of transformation in the expectations of end users of maps of all kinds. The advances in 3D representation are particularly interesting.
Here are some links I found today that indicate various types of transformation in communicating and displaying geographic data:
Check this link to a recent article and video in the Wall Street Journal: Digital Maps
Check out this new GPS unit from Garmin: The 'Colorado'. This looks like a promising foray into the type of interface that would be particularly useful for geologists. I have been experimenting with a variety of gps field tools (palmtop computer, Panasonic toughbook) but I have the fewest qualms about simply using my Garmin 76csx. This new unit looks great to me.
Yes, I do want one....however, $599.
Follow the link below to see a lengthy presentation about virtual volcanology in Google Earth. The author is a strong proponent of using Google Earth in Geoscience, and presented at AGU's virtual globe session. The presentation is a bit long, but it reinforces the obvious point that Google Earth is an essential tool for geologists. Its potential for teaching geology is vast. The instructional value of you tube also comes across in this context. Stay tuned to this blog for an example of the value of new online presentation software as well.