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.

  • Elmes, Gregory (2005). The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (Guest Editorial). Transactions in GIS 9(3): 273-276. (pdf)


YearSummer Assembly or Symposium LocationOrganizing President
1994 Boulder, Colorado (founding meeting)

John Bossler
The Ohio State University

1996 Columbus, Ohio

Will Craig
University of Minnesota

1997 Bar Harbor, Maine

Jerry Dobson
University of Kansas

1998 Park City, Utah

David Mark
University at Buffalo

1999 Minneapolis, Minnesota

William Huxhold
University of Wisconson, Milwaukee

2000 Mt. Hood, Oregon

Greg Elmes
West Virginia University

2001 Buffalo, New York

Harlan Onsrud
University of Maine

2002 Athens, Georgia

Art Getis
San Diego State University

2003 Asilomar, California

Carolyn Merry
The Ohio State University

2004 College Park, Maryland, with GIScience 2004

Lynn Usery
US Geological Survey

2005 Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Nina Lam
Louisiana State University

2006 Vancouver, Washington, with AutoCarto

John Wilson
University of Southern California

2007 Yellowstone, Wyoming

Sean Ahearn
Hunter College

2008 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bob McMaster
University of Minnesota

2009 Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tim Nyerges
University of Washington

2010 Hilton Head, South Carolina

Tim Nyerges
University of Washington

2011 Boulder, Colorado

May Yuan
University of Oklahoma

2012 Washington, DC

Tim Nyerges
University of Washington

2013 George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Laxmi Ramasubramanian
Hunter College

2014 Pasadena, California, with University of Southern California

Laxmi Ramasubramanian
Hunter College

2015 Alexandria, Virginia

Steve Prager
University of Wyoming

2016 Scottsdale, Arizona

Libby Wentz
Arizona State University

2017 Arlington, Virginia

Shaowen Wang
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2018 Madison, Wisconsin, with AutoCarto

Shashi Shekhar
University of Minnesota

2019 Washington, DC

Alberto Giordano
Texas State University

2020 Online / virtual (COVID-19 changed the plans from it being in Honolulu, Hawaii)

Karen Kemp
University of Southern California

2021 Online / virtual (COVID-19 changed the plans from it being in Philadelphia, PA)

Jeremy Mennis

Jeremy Mennis
Temple University