In 2010, after another middle of the night search and rescue mission with limited mapping resources, Matt Jacobs set out to pull some digital maps together into a tool that searchers could use to make some planning decisions. After adding the ability to draw objects over the digital map layers, then import gpx tracks, CalTopo (then SARTopo) quickly grew into the number one tool for managing SAR missions across the US. In 2017, Jacobs transitioned to full time work on the program, and began hiring shortly thereafter. The mobile app followed a few years later, making the job of the incident management team infinitely more efficient.
CalTopo is now used not only in Search and Rescue, but also by recreational users as the most advanced planning tool for backcountry travel. On the first response side, the use has expanded to include law enforcement, child abduction response, urban and wilderness fire, event planning, and much more.
Matt started CalTopo in 2011, initially to provide better mapping tools for search and rescue. A part time project for years, it became his full time job in 2016. Residing in the small mountain town of Truckee CA, he is also a Wilderness EMT active with two different search and rescue teams.
Matt Cosand joined CalTopo full-time in May 2018 after working on a few projects as a contractor. Previously, he worked for nearly 20 years on enterprise software products at Microsoft and other companies in the Seattle area. When not at work, Matt and his family volunteer as SAR mission leaders and rope rescue instructors with King County Explorer Search and Rescue. (though since the team is a heavy user of SARTopo, work often follows him there).
AJ joined CalTopo in November 2019 to help out with whatever engineering problems need attention! Prior to that he worked for an enterprise cloud company developing a distributed file system and various other projects. Whether by foot or on skis, AJ is happiest on top of a summit scoping out neighboring peaks and planning future trips into the mountains!
Julie joined CalTopo in 2020 after years of using it on volunteer work with Inyo County Search and Rescue. With many years of experience in both the private and public sectors as well as nonprofit leadership, Julie can speak to many use cases of CalTopo across a broad range of industries. In her spare time you'll find her exploring mountains and deserts. Julie lives in California’s spectacular Sierra Nevada with her partner, two cats, and dog.
Meghan joined the CalTopo team in May 2020. Meghan has a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut and she brings experience designing and implementing innovative curriculum from her years as an educator. She has also worked in a variety of other fields, including as an EMT and mountain bike coach. Whether on skis, bike or foot, Meghan is passionate about exploring the mountains outside of her home in Vail, CO and currently volunteers with Vail Mountain Rescue Group as a field member.
Zach joined CalTopo in June 2022 after a few years developing geospatial applications for the intelligence community. He couldn't turn down the opportunity to work on a product that he's been using nearly daily for years and truly cares about. Zach grew up in Pennsylvania and received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh before moving to Colorado in 2018. He now lives in Silverton Colorado where he enjoys moving through the beautiful San Juan mountains that surround his home.
Colby joined CalTopo in June 2022 where he is happy to be blending his interests for maps, programming, and the outdoors. After graduating from Vassar College with degrees in Computer Science and Math, Colby worked at Meta for two years before joining the team. He currently lives in Telluride Colorado where he spends his free time playing music and exploring the mountains by way of skiing, biking, and hiking.
Rachel joined the Caltopo team in 2022 in the Customer Support Role. She has a varied working background, including guiding in New Zealand and Alaska; and is currently a volunteer EMT for Silverton/San Juan County EMS and a field member for the associated Search and Rescue team. She lives in Silverton, CO and enjoys everything the mountains have to offer, especially skiing and trail running.
Rebecca joined Caltopo in October 2022. Prior to that, she worked at couple of startups in Seattle as well as a few stints of funemployment. Rebecca loves climbing, trail running, peakbagging and making odd-flavored pizzas. She's also a member of King County Search and Rescue.
Marc joined CalTopo in 2022 after many years working as a mountain guide. He has been using CalTopo in his work and is happy to be part of the CalTopo Team. Marc lives in North Conway, NH and his guiding work gave him the opportunity to travel and navigate through many of the great ranges of the world. He continues to climb and ski and more recently started mountain biking.