“I”ve always had a great appreciation for maps and I have found a job that is absolutely wonderful for me,” Hansen says.
The DOT has printed 830,000 road maps. The list of Iowa cities and towns identified on the map hasn’t changed since last year, but there have been about 200 adjustments from the previous version.
“We get secondary road updates from county engineers,” Hansen says. “If something has been paved, if a road goes from a primary road to a secondary road, we show those changes as well.”
A few states quit printing maps, while some have begun charging for paper maps. Some Iowa legislators have suggested it’s time to quit spending state tax dollars printing state maps, as many travelers are using GPS devices or their smart phone to navigate Iowa’s roads, but lawmakers in the end agreed to budget more money to print and distribute the free maps.
“We have found that the travelers still appreciate having the free transportation maps free at the rest areas and welcome centers and there is the demand for the paper map,” Hansen says.
However, last year the Iowa DOT unveiled a map “app” for those who want to use their mobile device to navigate around the state. Figures for how many times that app has been downloaded are not yet available.