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ION celebrates 75 years of guiding navigators

July 27, 2020  - By
The Mark 3 Plotting Board was used in single-seat aircraft flying in the Pacific. (Photo: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)

The Mark 3 Plotting Board was used in single-seat aircraft flying in the Pacific. (Photo: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)

On June 25, 1945, in the last few months of World War II, troops from around the globe were headed home and navigation technology was in its infancy.

On that date, the first organization meeting of the Institute of Navigation (ION) took place on the Los Angeles Campus of the University of California with 55 people in attendance. A temporary organization was established to carry on until the fall, when a second general meeting would take place on the east coast.

The first ION Annual Meeting was held Oct. 25–26 that same year at the Hotel New Yorker, with 95 ION members and 35 non-members attending. Proposed Articles of Incorporation were adopted and a council was elected.

By late October, two organizational meetings, two regional meetings and the annual meeting had taken place; bylaws were adopted with plans for incorporation; a permanent organization was established; a National Office was set up at UCLA; and plans were made for future meetings and publication of a journal.

ION’s global impact is documented in more than 2,600 technical papers published in Navigation, the Journal of the Institute of Navigation, first published in March 1946.

On June 25, ION wrote to its members, “Thank you to the thousands of ION members who have committed themselves to our field; and thank you for 75 years of technological advancements that have helped us all discover where we are, where we are going, and when we will get there.”

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About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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