In 1937 basing on the order of the Central Committee of Azerbaijan dated 1925 and titled “On the study of natural resources of republic and regioning” was organized a sector of Geography in the structure of Azerbaijan branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and by this was laid the foundation of Azerbaijan geographical school, always occupying a particular place in the scientific sphere of the former USSR.
By formation of the given sector the geographical science completed its descriptive function and begins systematic geographical researches in Azerbaijan.
Under the leadership of such great scholars as I.V. Figurovsky, H.A. Aliyev, R.B. Kovalyev and H.B. Aliyev during its eight years activity the researches on physical and economical, soil geography, cartography, seismology and astronomy were carried out in the sector.
In 1945 may 1 on the basis of given sector the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR was organized which H.B. Aliyev director was appointed.
During 60 years activity the Institute, beside H.B. Aliyev, was directed by A.M. Shikhlinsky (1948-1951), A.A. Madatzade (1951-1957), G.K. Gul (1957-1964), S.H. Rustamov (1964-1967), H.A. Aliyev (1967-1988) and B.A. Budagov (1988-2012).
Since July 1945 the departments of physical and economical geography, cartography began to function at the Institute. One of the main themes of researched becomes the geography of mountainous countries.
In spite of that the initial years there was not a single of workers with scientific degree, in 1947 11 workers out of 20 were already candidate of science, and 3 joined the postgraduate studentship.
Taking into account of universality the objects and themes of geographical researches in 1950 the personnel potential in the structure of Institute consisted of 6 departments.
Since 1959 the Centre of Problems of the Caspian Sea has been functioning at the Institute of Geography.
In 1963, 162 employees worked at the institute. Of the 73 researchers, 5 are doctors of science and 20 are candidates of science.
In 1968, scientific research was carried out on 6 problems. The number of employees of the institute reached 214 people. Of the 108 researchers, 7 doctors of science, 40 candidates of science, the number of graduate students reached 24 people. One full member of the Academy of Sciences (Kh.A. Aliyev) and one corresponding member (G.K. Gul) in 1970.
In 1970, the main authors of the monograph "Climate of the Azerbaijan SSR" (A. Shikhlinsky, A. Madatzade, A. Ayyubov) were awarded the title of laureate of the State Prize of the Republic.
In 1975, the staff of the institute worked on 8 problems. These tasks were completed on 14 topics. In the same year, 273 people worked at the institute, including 123 scientists, 9 doctors of science (one of them is a full member of the Academy of Sciences), 45 candidates of science, 21 people were postgraduate students.
In 1985, 5 tasks, 25 themes and 28 studies were completed. In addition, economic contracts were implemented in 4 cases. In the same year, 194 people worked at the institute, including 100 scientists, 10 doctors of science, 38 candidates of science. The number of graduate students was 26 people.
In 1990, the number of employees of the institute was 252 people. In the same year, the number of candidates of sciences working at the institute reached 75 people.
The Institute of Geography of ANAS was named after academician Hasan Aliyev by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan No. 30 dated February 1, 1994.
In 2005, the institute was headed by 13 scientific departments. 228 people worked at the institute, including one academician, two corresponding members, 9 doctors of sciences, 51 candidates of sciences. The Institute had a Specialized Dissertation Council in four areas of geography. The Institute continued to work on two important scientific problems.
The Academic Council of the Institute of Geography discusses the internal issues of the Institute. The Academic Council determines the priority areas of scientific research, approves topics and works, discusses and accepts completed research work. The most important scientific results are determined from the performed scientific works in the Council of Sciences, presented to the Department of Earth Sciences and the Presidium of ANAS. Field research plans are also discussed and adopted by the Academic Council.
In 2016, a new structure of the Institute of Geography named after Academician H.A. Aliyev ANAS was confirmed. According to the new structure, the Institute conducts research in 18
departments that are part of the Geographical Information Center of the Institute in the fields of physical geography, human geography, and problems of the Caspian Sea.
In 2016, the Department of Education was created in order to train at the Institute of Doctors of Science and Doctors of Philosophy, the organization of scientific and educational activities of masters.
In 2021, a new structure of the Institute of Geography was elaborated. According to the new structure, the institute conducts research in 18 areas included in the Geographic Information Center. Directions of Physical Geography, Human Geography, Problems of the Caspian Sea were abolished.