The Global Spatial Network was formed in 2010 through the leadership of its core founding members and with the strong support of its associate members, from across the globe. It is a not-for-profit consortium which has executed legal agreements specifying its business and other aspirations and operations.
The field of geographic information has lived through enormous technological shifts over the past decades.
In the beginning, the number of people involved was relatively small, and it was easier to communicate results and breakthroughs. As the sector has matured, various countries have built institutions to assist in the innovation process. In certain countries, these institutions have a ‘network’ character, and have been able to make investments in research projects in collaboration with all sectors. In others, there are membership groups that promote the field, but have fewer resources to invest. Despite these differences, there is much to share.
The Global Spatial Network arose as these organizations realized that there was a need to coordinate their research and education activities, and to promote enlargement around the World. An initial meeting was held in Banff, Canada in June 2006, attended by nine groups. The idea of a network for networks emerged, a new level of collaboration. This was followed by meetings in Beijing and Berlin in 2008 and Rotterdam in 2009. Five of these institutions have agreed to form Global Spatial Network, with others wishing to join as affiliates.