The origin of the Spatial Information and Cartography commission begins with AURISA (Australasian Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) a local version of URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) which is based in North America.
AURISA was formed to encourage professionalism in the newly emerging discipline of GIS and computer assisted cartography.

In accordance with the federal government's spatial action agenda, AURISA and several other professional bodies were dissolved to become the SSI (Spatial Sciences Institute). To ensure the interests of former members of the founding organisations were still adequately represented, commissions were formed within the institute, representing different professional streams. The Spatial Information Commission for GIS Professionals and the Cartography Commission for Cartographers.

The commissions for Cartography and Spatial Information were then merged together to pool resources and promote efficiency. The spatial information and cartography commission now exists in the current Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute.