BGI was created in 1951 by decision of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).

It is one of the services of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) and of its International Gravity Field Service (IGFS), which coordinates since 2001 the servicing of the geodetic and geophysical community with gravity field-related data, software and information. It is also recognized as one of the services of the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical Data Analysis Services (FAGS) that operates under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU). FAGS Services will be incorporated into the new World Data System (WDS) of ICSU in 2009-2010.

BGI central office is located in Toulouse, France, in the premises of the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (OMP). It is supported in France by national agencies and educational and research laboratories which directly contribute to BGI activities in various fields (service, research, education).

BGI is recognized in France as Service d’Observation CNRS/INSU (Service “Gravimetrie-Geodesie). It has also contributions from  Groupe de Recherche en Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS).

Data center for national or international projects

BGI also operates and contributes as Data center and Data depository for the following national or international research projects :