The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis is a multi-institution, multidisciplinary research consortium dedicated to basic research and education in geographic information science and its related technologies. The three member institutions: the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University at Buffalo; and the University of Maine collaborated on the original successful award from the National Science Foundation in 1989. NCGIA continues to operate as an independent consortium and still receives substantial funding from various directorates within NSF as well as other federal agencies.

The NCGIA originally organized its research efforts through a sequence of research initiatives which lead to numerous research publications and products.

The NCGIA stands as an international focus for basic research. Its three sites attract short- and long-term visitors from around the world. It continues to influence cutting edge research in geographic information science through initiation and participation in workshops, specialist meetings, conference series such as the International Symposium for Geographic Information Science and other activities.

The NCGIA initiated development of the Core Curriculum in geographic information science and it continues to advance educational programs for students at all levels.