It appears that, despite the significant investment in GIS hardware, software, data capture and training, there are widespread concerns that GIS is failing to address the types of strategic functions that planners need to undertake and that authorities may be faced with a technology which may not be the panacea for all planning problems. Even more worrying are claims that, despite the significant investment of resources in GIS technology, 'the most intriguing indication from the research done to date is the lack of substantial benefits in decision making' (Nedovic-Budic, 1999, p. 285). The aims of this paper are, first, to review the current use of GIS in planning departments in Wales, second, to highlight the potential barriers to more widespread implementation of GIS, and to conclude by describing the potential for GIS in strategic planning contexts and the significance of new developments in VR and Internet-based GIS. The rest of this paper is structured as follows. The second section outlines the aims and methodology of the survey of planning authorities in Wales. The third section describes the main findings of the survey and the fourth section considers future roles for GIS in planning. The concluding section re-emphasises the potential of GIS and provides some indicators as to where future research and development, both academic and practical, might usefully be applied to greatest effect.