Comprehensive Map Covers San Rafael and Ross Valley

Innovative free maps come to Central Marin.

Almost everyone in Marin has some kind of trail map. And, with the technology available these days, so many GPS or Google maps on their phone. But, no one has maps that show roads, paths, trails and points of interest.

That’s exactly why Bernard Catalinotto and Glen Jansma made one.

“We can show more what the place actually looks like,” Catalinotto said.

Last year, the two came out with an extremely popular map of Mill Valley. The book, which shows trails, paths, and roads, included pictures and topography of the area. The free books were a hit in Mill Valley, so this year they’re expanding into Central Marin.

“People love it in Mill Valley,” said Catalinotto.

The pair, both of whom formerly worked at Thomas Brothers until it was sold to Rand McNally in 2000, started out making their unique maps for Haiti following the earthquake.

Catalinotto had gone on to a job working as a GIS manager and Jansma ran a printing company for a few years. The two wanted to work together and getting involved in community mapping was “something we always wanted to do,” said Catalinotto.

They made a model community map of Newport Beach to show people, but then the earthquake happened in Haiti and a number of their friends headed over to do relief work. It turned out, though, there weren’t any maps of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas. Relief workers were heading out without any idea of where they were going. So, Catalinotto and Jansma made community maps of Haiti for Relief International.

The maps came to Marin when they made one for the Tam Community Services District and then branched out to Mill Valley, where Catalinotto lives.

Now, a Central Marin map is available for San Rafael and the Ross Valley.

The maps are made taking available GIS data and public domain maps, combined with trail database, hydrology, and adding in building. Corrections are made, topography and points of interest added. The parks services looks over the trail sections and makes recommendations. Catalinotto even hiked out to the , connecting Sleepy Hollow and Lucas Valley, to make sure they had it right on the map.

“We’re trying to be comprehensive,” he said. “Our standard is to get everything.”

Of course, there are some mistakes made or things missing, which is why they plan to release a new map each year with upgrades and new details. In the spring, the updated Mill Valley/Southern Marin map will be released and possibly include Sausalito or Tiburon.

Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to buy a new a new map. The books are free.

Earlier this week, over 20,000 were shipped to selected mail routes in Central Marin and showed up at peoples’ door.

If you’re not one of the lucky addresses, you can pick up a free copy at some of the participating sponsors: , , , , , Frank Howard Allen in Greenbrae, and the San Rafael Redevelopment Agency.

Or, request to have one mailed to you and pay the shipping.

The mymapbook website also includes the ability to print out smaller maps for just one particular area.

Do the makers themselves use the map book? Absolutely.

“I’m a map-aholic,” said Catalinotto. “Some people will say I have GPS, what do I need a map for, but it’s really comprehensive.”


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