BiographyIan Muehlenhaus fell in love with maps growing up in Duluth, Minnesota. During the long, dark winters of his childhood he perused atlases and daydreamed about distant, warmer lands. He went on to earn his M.Sc. in Geography at Penn State University in 2002 and his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Minnesota in 2010. Today, he is fortunate enough to study maps for a living as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.
Ian’s research on maps has been published in a variety of journals, including The Cartographic Journal, Cartography and Geographical Information Science (CaGIS), Cartographica, and Cartographic Perspectives. He is the Coordinator of the annual CaGIS Map Competition and a former co-chair of the Student Dynamic Map Competition for the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). Ian has also acted as the Chair of the Cartography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers and is currently an Editorial Board Member of Cartographic Perspectives and a Map Reviewer for the Journal of Maps. He has worked as a consultant for the National Geographic Society and National Endowment for the Arts, and been invited to lecture on effective map design at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Ian’s map interests are myriad, although all tend to come back to map aesthetics and purposeful design. Beyond Web mapping, the focus of Ian’s research is on systematically designing maps for more effective information recall, likability, and persuasiveness. More recently Ian has become interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Web Cartography was an attempt to write a book that was extremely approachable to a wide audience and so easy to read “my grandma could learn how to design effective maps from it.” He is also increasingly involved in creating geography and mapmaking resources for K-12 educators.
During the academic year Ian resides in La Crosse, Wisconsin, with his wife (fellow cartographer, Birgit Muehlenhaus), two daughters, and their Wheaten Terrier. In the summer, he and his family are often found in Germany, France, and Hungary visiting family and friends. More information can be found about Ian at www.ian.muehlenhaus.com or on Twitter @iMuehlenhaus.
Ian loves spreading the word about maps and map design! If you would like to have Ian come speak in your neck of the woods, please inquire via email.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Web map design, persuasive mapping, affective mapping, marketing maps, geopolitics, Central European Geography
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