Association of American Geographers
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Geographic Information Science and Technology

Geographic Information Science (GIS / GIScience) concerns the acquisition, management, analysis, and dissemination of information that is spatially-referenced to locations on, above, and below the surface of the earth. Although most closely applied to geography, it has found application across scientific domains ranging from environmental science to transportation to epidemiology. For many years, the AAG has been at the forefront of applied research and promotion of GIScience and its technologies.


Current Initiatives

  • GeoMentors – The AAG-Esri ConnectED GeoMentors Program is working to enhance GIS and geographic learning in US K-12 schools through the introduction of ArcGIS Online into classrooms across the country. Visit the GeoMentors website to find out more
  • Geospatial Data Confidentiality – The AAG is engaged in an NSF-funded research project looking at the long-standing problems of sharing geospatial data and their visualizations that have challenged researchers and created obstacles to innovation. Find out more about this project.
  • New Advanced Placement course in GIS&T – With the support of a seed grant from the Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP), the AAG has developed formal proposal for a new AP GIS&T course for high schools. Find news and updates here.


Past Initiatives

  • Developing Fundamental Geospatial Datasets in Africa – With funding from the U.S. Department of State, the AAG provided support for local end-users of geospatial data in multiple African countries. Visit the International Programs section to find out more. 
  • Enhancing Latin American GIS&T Capacity – The AAG was involved in a technical cooperation project to explore the feasibility of a GIS&T Center for improving social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Visit the International Programs section to find out more.
  • GeoInformation for Sustainable Urban Management – The AAG was involved in a program is designed to promote the use of geospatial tools and information for decision-makers in medium to large cities in the Middle East and North Africa region. Visit the International Programs section to find out more. 



  • Historical GIS Clearinghouse and Forum – The AAG has developed a central reference point for scholars seeking to access or catalogue projects that apply geographic technologies to historical research. Visit the website to find out more. 
  • Real-Time Interactive GPS/GIS Archive – The AAG has compiled an archive of journal articles, press releases, and other media exploring the topic of real-time interactive GPS/GIS technology. View the archive of materials.
  • GIS Procurement – In 2007, the AAG was among the geographic and GIS organizations that joined together to support the government’s position against a lawsuit that sought to strictly limit government contracting for mapping and GIS activities. Find out more about the case.
  • Emerging Technologies and the Geospatial Landscape: A Report of the the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (December 2016). Download the report


AAG Annual Meeting

GIScience always has a strong presence at the AAG’s Annual Meeting where geographers and GIScientists gather to present their research. It has also featured as a special theme on occasions, for example:


Other events

Biennial GIScience Conference – GIScience started in 2000 and is now a highly successful series of conferences that regularly brings together more than 200 international participants from academia, industry, and government organizations. The next conference is in 2016. Visit the website for more information 



  • GIS&T Body of Knowledge – In 2006, the AAG published the Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge (GISTBoK) is a reference document produced by the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. It comprehensively outlines the concepts and skills unique to the geospatial realm and is intended to be used in a variety of applications including curriculum design, educational assessment, educational program accreditation, professional certification, hiring practices, and project RFPs. 
  • Geography and Technology – This book, published in 2004 on the Centennial of the AAG, looks at the new technologies that have been extending frontiers in geographic research, education and applications, and creating new and resurgent roles for geography in both society and academia. While new technologies have always been important in advancing geographic understanding, never have they been so thoroughly and rapidly transformative.