The first Conference was not based at Cambridge, but moved with some energy from location to location, including the War Office, the Royal Geographical Society and the Science Museum in London, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, the Admiralty Chart Establishment at Cricklewood (North-West London), the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington (West of London) and Ordnance Survey at Southampton. Although the main body of the Conference did not meet at Cambridge, some of the issues raised were later discussed in committee there.

Some legendary names were in attendance, including Colonel Sir Charles Close KBE CB CMG DSc FRS, who delivered a paper on the Geodesy of the British Isles and Brigadier Martin Hotine CMG CBE RE, who delivered a paper on surveying from air photographs.

Charles Close’s vision of extending the availability of Ordnance Survey mapping to commercial sale is now celebrated in the existence of the Charles Close Society for the study of Ordnance Survey maps. Captain Hotine is remembered in the Cambridge Conference Hotine Lecture for his work in realising the single homogeneous map of Great Britain and the consequential establishment of the national grid and the re-triangulation of the country.

The Conference was chaired by Colonel H St J L Winterbotham, Chief of the Geographical Section at the War Office, who went on to become Director General of Ordnance Survey from 1930–35.