Mapmakers roll out another batch

Carson City mapmakers Pat Hennessy and husband Jeff Trionfante know Northern Nevada's streets as well as anyone.

Each year while updating and adding to their line of six Magpie maps, the couple drives every which way through neighborhoods, noting changes and following subdivision expansions. It's a painstakingly laborious service that most people buying the maps at $3.95 a piece probably don't appreciate. Hennessy said her husband, a cartographer, uses several computer programs to keep the dimensions and scale accurate.

"One of our goals when we started this (in 1997) was to get larger map companies to come in, but they haven't," Hennessy said Monday. "It doesn't pay much -- It's like a service. But over the years people have come to trust us."

This month the couple is putting out new versions of their Carson City, Dayton and Minden-Gardnerville-Carson Valley maps. The biggest change, besides mapping of new and future developments, is the addition of Topaz and Topaz Ranch Estates on the Minden-Gardnerville map.

To make room, the couple cut out Indian Hills, but those streets remain as part of the Carson City map. The maps also contain information about surrounding areas such as Washoe Valley, Silver Springs/Stagecoach and Carson Valley.

Hennesy, who also does a large portion of the map distribution to area gas stations, convenience and drug stores, said since its debut Magpie maps have become a favorite for repeat customers, doubling the distribution each year. To meet the expected demand for the new maps over the next couple years, the couple had 19,000 printed, and in Hennessy's words, "They are going like hot cakes."

Last year, updated versions of the North Tahoe, South Tahoe and Truckee maps were printed.

The new maps will cost $3.95, a dollar more than the previous price. Hennessy said higher printing costs necessitated the increase. Laminated maps will now cost $25, up from the previous $20.

"We have them printed in Maryland," she said. "It's the only place that does it how we like."

Because map printing is such a specialized field, the service comes at a premium. And JVT Publications, Henessy and Trionfante's publishing company, has to buy in extreme bulk to get a discounted price.

Over the years increased sales and a solidified reputation has improved the quality of the maps, Hennessy said. The company works with developers, who are often a step ahead of the counties in new street development. The couple welcomes calls from customers alerting them to mistakes and corrections. Riding on their success, the couple is considering a Tahoe map book.

JVT Publications initially worked under the name of JVT Cartography Publications, producing maps for mostly tourist publications before going to work on the Magpie series.

Magpie maps are available in about half of local gas stations, including two Chevron, two Arco and one Shell station. The maps are also available at Smith's and Albertson's grocery stores, as well as the Book Cellar and other local retailers.

If a customer cannot find a map, Hennessy welcomes calls and e-mail. The Carson City-based company can be reached at 885-8341, or by logging onto the Web site at


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment