the environmental impact of the virtual world – Royal Examiner

Watch a road trip from the 70s or 80s and you might see people juggling maps or asking for directions. These days? There is an application for that. Cars, planes and even trains all depend on GPS.

Have you ever wondered where it came from? In part, it came from Gladys West, one of the main architects of the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Dr. Gladys West is inducted into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame during a ceremony in her honor at the Pentagon in Washington, DC on December 6, 2018. West was part of the part called “hidden figures”. of the team that did computer science for the US military in the days before electronic systems. The Air Force Space and Missile Pioneer Hall of Fame is one of the Air Force Space Commands’ highest honors. (Photo by Adrian Cadiz)

West was born in 1930 in Virginia. Coming into the world in the midst of the Great Depression, and as an African American in a segregated nation, you might not think her work would change the world. But he did.

During his childhood, West spent summers helping out on the family farm. When school was in session, it was a three-mile walk, each way, each day.

West quickly saw his education as his ticket to prosperity. After years of study, she earned a scholarship to Virginia State College, where she majored in math. Eventually, this led to a job as a programmer at a naval base in Virginia, where she was one of four black employees.

Working long hours, West contributed to space exploration and later programmed the IBM 7030 Stretch computer to build an accurate geodetic model of Earth. This work laid the foundation for the Global Positioning System that helps the modern world turn.

In 2018, she was inducted into the United States Air Force Hall of Fame.

Today, she is 91 years old. She and her husband, Ira, have three children and seven grandchildren. Although she was the pioneer of GPS, she still prefers paper maps.


Sherry J. Basler