September 1, 2014

Paper state map still an option despite influx of technology

2012 state transportation map cover.

It may be considered a thing of the past by many people, but the paper Iowa road map isn’t going away just yet. More and more people are using portable GPS units or their cellphones to navigate the state’s roadways.

The Iowa legislature in response to the trend, has cut back on funding so the number of maps printed this year has been cut — but the icon of state travel is still available.

D.O.T. spokesman Mark Hansen says they printed 1.4 million maps in 2011 and they did distribute all of the maps. The 2012 version of the map is now available.

Hansen says, “The cover picture is a scene near the River Bluffs Scenic Byway in Fayette and Clayton counties, and I think it is a very, very nice cover this year.” There are some new things on the map.

“The new map has several hundred changes done to it since the 2011 map was done. The one visible one that comes out is the new Highway 61 bypass at Fort Madison that we recently added,” Hansen says. And in a case of the past meeting the present, the paper map features Q-R codes.

“The new Q-R codes, we’re really excited to add those, because they allow quick access with any smart phone,” Hansen says. “You can just scan that Q-R code and get to the websites for the 5-1-1 and any of  the other general websites that are listed on the transportation map. You don’t have to type in a URL, you can just scan it and go to whichever one you want to.”

Copies of the 2012 map are available at the Iowa Department of Transportation’s 19 driver’s license stations or any Iowa welcome center. Or go to: www.iowadot.gov/maps.