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Meet Jason Ott of Ottographix in Ocean Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Ott.

Jason, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started printing t-shirts at a company called Salem Sportswear after high school and eventually worked my way into the art department. From there to a company in Gloucester, MA called CYRK where I became Art Dept. Supervisor and scheduling guy.

I moved to San Diego in 96 and worked at MARCOA Publishing for 5 years. I took over their cartography department and began my map making the journey… I was also working on the side as the graphics company “Ottographix”.

Eventually, I left MARCOA and went full time with “Ottographix Graphic Design”. While I still do graphic design, the cartography/mapping has become my niche. At this point, I’ve created 5,000+ maps all over the world.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I wish I could say it was a smooth road… however, it’s been a bit difficult. Ottographix has been in business since 1996 with mostly average years, a few great years and a few not-so-great years. Over the years, I’ve learned to manage my expectations…. a good month doesn’t mean I’m breaking big and a bad month doesn’t mean I’m going out of business. These days I’m happy with an average work-flow. The recession was a bit devastating but somehow I made it through!

The lack of a secure cash-flow is the biggest down-side to self-employment as a graphic artist, however, the ability to create your own schedule and overall freedom is worth the extra work.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ottographix story. Tell us more about the business.
I started Ottographix in 96 as a graphics company but found a niche in cartography. I did not see that coming! The graphics industry is a bit saturated, but I was able to find a bit of an opening with Cartography. is fairly new and has detailed city maps that have every relevant piece of info about a city. These are royalty free maps that allow the user to use them as a sales and graphics tools as well as navigational tools. A specific niche that emerged about 5 years ago was Subdivisions/Neighborhood maps for Title Agencies. The agents needed a way to determine the subdivision names/tracts in specific cities.

I soon realized that this is an area that hasn’t been mapped very well yet. Nobody knew how to get the subdivision information, so I had to figure it out! There is an intimidating amount of subdivision data out there and most of it is incorrect. Eventually, I figured out how to investigate and dig through it all to find the right info.

I started reading these maps and posting them on and have approx 140 cities from San Diego, LA, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
oh boy… I’m not sure how to answer this one. I’m still a bit confused on luck, destiny, fate and free will. 🙂 I can say that I have been lucky enough to be able to stay afloat for 22 years.

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