About CalTopo

CalTopo is the creation of Matt Jacobs as a solution to some challenges facing search and rescue members. Matt recognized some of these problems as a member of a search and rescue organization in the San Francisco Bay area in 2010. CalTopo was launched as a tool to integrate several layers of mapping information with tools searchers needed to use such as drawing objects onto maps, working in multiple coordinate systems, and several highly specific applications such as viewshed analysis for radio and cell phone locations, these features spun off to SAR Topo name as popularity of CalTopo as a backcountry planning tool for recreationalists increased.

CalTopo maps and tools are frequently used now nationwide and internationally by first responders as well as recreationalists to plan, navigate and return home safe from their backcountry adventures. What started as a hobby project in 2010 has now become a small and growing company. Matt began working full time on CalTopo in 2017 and has added several employees over the years since.

More about our team is found below.

Matt Jacobs



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

Software Engineer


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).

Ben Lantow

Business Operations


Ben started with CalTopo in July 2019 as the “everything but development” guy. Ben’s responsibilities at CalTopo include a variety of marketing, business development, and financial tasks. Ben has a MBA from Kelley School of business at Indiana University and comes from a primarily medical background as a nurse and paramedic. He is also a field active member of Alpine Rescue Team based in Evergreen, CO.

Barry Burton

Software Engineer


Barry joined the CalTopo team in October 2019. He brings experience building scalable backend systems and rich mobile interfaces from many years working at Fitbit. He is a lifelong trail runner who became a skier and climber while in grad school at Cornell. Now based in Truckee, he uses CalTopo to find interesting routes in the Sierra that just might go.

AJ Kaufmann

Software Engineer


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!

Jon Weissman

Software Engineer


Jon joined CalTopo in 2020 focused on map layer development. Previously he worked as a wildlife technician where he used CalTopo to map animal movements. He is also an avid backcountry skier and volunteers as an Inyo County SAR technical rescuer.

Julie Vargo

Training and Customer Support


Julie became interested in CalTopo through her volunteer work with Inyo County SAR and Tahoe Nordic SAR and started with CalTopo in May 2020. Her work background is diverse, with experience in ecology, non profit management, small business startups, trail building, and guiding. Julie loves to be outside whether it be climbing, running, surfing, or gardening. Julie lives in California’s Sierra Nevada with her partner, two cats, and dog.

Meghan Twohig

Training and Customer Support


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.

Rom Marcucci

Customer Support


Kobe Pole

Special Projects


Kobe started with Caltopo in the spring of 2018 as the first “official” employee. He was focused on customer support, responding to questions on the help site and solving billing and account issues. He was integral in helping with some early app testing. Now in college at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Kobe still assists with miscellaneous projects such as videos and an extra set of hands when needed. Kobe has a background as a search and rescue team member with Marin County SAR in California, as well as with the National Park Service in Grand Teton and Grand Canyon.