New Athletic Facilities Locator Makes Finding Away-Games Faster

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URBANDALE, Iowa  --  Fall school sports are in full swing and that means schedules for students and parents are full.

Several co-workers and parents who work at JCG Land Services Inc. were chatting about this after a meeting one day.

“We were lamenting some of the challenges of being a parent of young athletes and how you get to all of their events on time and juggle that with a job,” JCG Land Services, Inc., GIS Director Pete Buckingham said.

So, as a training exercise, they decided to create a website to help people locate athletic facilities across the state.

“You have multiple kids, that are trying to go to multiple communities for their sporting events and with the combined schools, many of the school districts have facilities in multiple communities,” Buckingham said.

The website, Athletic Facilities Locator, allows you to search by community or a school district or the specific athletic facility you are looking for such as a football field, track and cross-country fields, softball and baseball fields.

It will zoom in on the facility and you can click a button and it will add directions right to the Google maps on your phone.

Developers said this is easier than just Googling the address.

“The big difference would be that, you can search a school by name, and it might give you an address for the school location itself, but the softball field may be two communities to the east, 10 miles away,” Buckingham said.

You can find the map at awaygameatlas.com. Developers only started working on it a couple months ago, so they only have about two-thirds of Iowa mapped. They are hoping to have the entire state done by the spring of 2020.

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