Maps have been foundational to the way I’ve learned our world. While Dad was methylating his DNA in epigenetically consequential spots, he lived in a map-limned bubble, at the heart of a tank crew. Mom tells Grandpa’s stories about the many things his work as an RCAF navigator in the Korean War led to, but I like to imagine him urgently rasp-growling chart headings and using a sextant to clock landmarks.

Unlike most people who would use the term, my professional and training background is not specific to mapmaking. That said—I have made dozens and dozens of maps over the years. Doodled imaginary treasure maps with carefully labelled legends. Maps of planned transit lines (which have yet to open, 15 years on – gravy!), choroplast census chunks, once-natural ecosystems. Maps to accompany my Berkeley housing research and subsequent 6-month EV honeymoon adventure.

For all the maps I’ve made myself, there are countless more that bear my influence. At Rivian, tasked to get our infotainment system ready, I shepherded a group of colleagues across UX, creative, engineering, procurement, and legal, plus ~30 software providers. Our collaboration led to the slick route-and-charge system used by Rivian, Amazon, AT&T, and astronaut drivers; the acquisition of Iternio, which makes A Better Route Planner for every EV out there; and even mapped Rivians in imaginary maps mapping imaginarily with Unreal Engine. Not to mention Spaces, Rivian’s map-worthy retail locations, whose name and strategy I developed while opening the first one in Venice, Los Angeles, in October 2021.

Today, I make maps; would you like my cartograph? I really will map just about anything, but my convalescent obsession portfolio has included Salish Indigenous place names, aerial transit corridors, and historical location information hiding in thousands of pages of written material, begging to be visualized.

How Jay does cartographic work

Want Jay’s help on a mapping project? Reach out.