In this Special Issue, we bring together contributions from authors in the scientific discipline Geo-Information Science who engaged with the question: How does Geo-Information Science contribute to the development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators? The editorial to the Special Issue situates the individual contributions in a broader social science debate, which critically examines the quantification of global policy goals and its effects on how we know and govern the world. We put forward concepts of ‘measuring the world’ and a brief history of the Geo-Information Science discipline, including its dominant positivist paradigm as well as scholarly debates that reflected on and shifted that paradigm. Given the global policy focus of the SDGs, we also briefly discuss policy science paradigms. We analyze the individual articles with regard to their contribution to the SDG indicator development trajectory. We also show how alternative ways of knowing and governing the world complement the dominant positivist paradigm.