In 1988, the U.S. National Science Foundation established the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), a consortium of three institutions: the University of California at Santa Barbara, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Maine. The primary mission of the NCGIA was to conduct basic research, but the organization was also asked, from time to time, to provide services or coordination for members of the broader Geographic Information Science community. In 1990, the NCGIA board of directors recommended that a more broadly-based organization be established to promote and support the field, especially the needs of researchers. NCGIA responded in 1991 by establishing an ad hoc steering committee consisting of 16 individuals from as many institutions, representing about seven different academic disciplines. After a series of meetings at professional conferences, sufficient momentum was gathered to establish a national conference on the issue in Boulder, Colorado in 1994.

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science emerged from this, and was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. on August 3, 1995.


YearSummer Assembly or Symposium LocationOrganizing President
1994 Boulder, Colorado (founding meeting) John Bossler
1996 Columbus, Ohio Will Craig
1997 Bar Harbor, Maine Jerry Dobson
1998 Park City, Utah David Mark
1999 Minneapolis, Minnesota William Huxhold
2000 Mt. Hood, Oregon Greg Elmes
2001 Buffalo, New York Harlan Onsrud
2002 Athens, Georgia Art Getis
2003 Asilomar, California Carolyn Merry
2004 College Park, Maryland, with GIScience 2004 Lynn Usery
2005 Jackson Hole, Wyoming Nina Lam
2006 Vancouver, Washington, with AutoCarto John Wilson
2007 Yellowstone, Wyoming Sean Ahearn
2008 Minneapolis, Minnesota Bob McMaster
2009 Santa Fe, New Mexico Tim Nyerges
2010 Hilton Head, South Carolina Tim Nyerges
2011 Boulder, Colorado May Yuan
2012 Washington, DC Tim Nyerges
2013 George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia Laxmi Ramasubramanian
2014 Pasadena, California, with University of Southern California Laxmi Ramasubramanian
2015 Alexandria, Virginia Steve Prager
2016 Scottsdale, Arizona Libby Wentz
2017 Arlington, Virginia Shaowen Wang
2018 Madison, Wisconsin, with AutoCarto Shashi Shekhar