GGOS is the Observing System of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG). GGOS was established by IAG in July 2003. Since April 2004, GGOS represents IAG in the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and GGOS is IAG's contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
The international cooperation fostered by IAG has led to the establishment of the IAG Services, that provide increasingly valuable observations and products not only to scientist but also for a wide range of non-scientific applications. Considering this development in geodesy, the requirements of Earth observations, and the increasing societal needs, IAG initially created GGOS as an IAG Project during the IUGG meeting in 2003 in Sapporo, Japan. After the first two years devoted to the definition of the internal organizational structure of GGOS and its relationship with external organizations (the "Design Phase"), the Executive Committee of the IAG at its meetings in August 2005 in Cairns, Australia, decided to continue the Project. In the "Implementation Phase" from 2005 to 2007, the GGOS Steering Committee, Executive Committee, Science Panel, Working Groups, and Web Pages were established, and the Terms of Reference were revised. Finally, at the IUGG meeting in 2007 in Perugia, Italy, IAG elevated GGOS to the status of a full component of IAG as the permanent observing system of IAG.