Work History

Director of Program Development

Division of Continuing Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Jan 2020 – Present

Due to my success in Geography (see below), I was recruited to do the same but at the university level. I now conduct market research, find large-growth markets, and work with stakeholders from across campus to build large-revenue, professional programs and create lifelong customers.

Book Reviewer & Article Writer

Book Browse, LLC
Oct 2019 – Present

I work on contract to review pre-release, highly anticipated, books. I prefer non-fiction books, but I also write reviews of fiction when it feels right. The reviews vary from 600-1000 words.

The best part?! I also get to write non-fiction, Beyond the Book research articles dealing with interesting themes found in the reviewed books. These are generally 800 – 2000 words in length. My favorite part of the job!

Contract Writer

Sep 2019 – Present

I read long, technical journal articles and break them down into layperson English. I cover the main points and takeaways for a paying audience who wants the latest research information in a hurry.

Director of GIS Professional Programs

Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Jul 2015 – Jan 2020

Built an online professional master’s program on a shoestring budget in a competitive, saturated market. It thrived, so I led the expansion of the program into four nested programs, bringing in almost $2 million in annual revenue — nearly doubling the department’s total funding.

How did we do it? Creative copywriting, guerrilla marketing, and hands-on sales (i.e., recruitment).

Assistant Professor

School of Integrated Sciences
James Madison University
Aug 2014 – Jul 2015

The best students I ever taught. I loved working here! I taught Web GIS, advanced cartography, map design, and human geography. Alas, my Midwest family could not adapt to the cultural change of living in rural Virginia. I chose my family’s mental health over tenure. Fond memories.

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Aug 2011 – Aug 2014

These were a great three years: taught four courses per semester, published research on persuasive maps, secured just under $100,000 in grants, and wrote a textbook. I taught these courses: maps and society, fundamental cartography, interactive cartography, geopolitics in film, European geography, and world regional geography.

Formal Education

Ph.D. Geography, University of Minnesota, February 2010

M.Sc. Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, August 2002

B.A. International Studies and Geography, University of Minnesota – Duluth, May 1999

Books Published

Muehlenhaus, I. (2019). Geography Today: Concepts, Issues, and Technology (I. Muehlenhaus, Ed.), ABC-CLIO.

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). Web Cartography: Map Design for Interactive and Mobile Devices_._ Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Select Non-Fiction Articles

(Pseudonyms in bold)

Muehlenhaus, I. (2021). “Overcoming Arkoudaphobia: The Truth about North American Bear Attacks,” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2021). “The Falsity of a Real Reality,” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Libraries and Other Imagined Communities,” BookBrowse

Mrozek, S. (2020). “Gamification and AI: Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go,” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Metempsychosis, Transmigration and Mesmerism,” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Viruses and Evolution.” BookBrowse

Mrozek, S. (2020). “American Complicity in Chinese Authoritarianism,” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Could COVID-19 Spark Lasting Change?” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Russia’s Government Resigns: What Does it Mean?” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2019). “_An Interview with JP Gritton, Author of Wyoming,” BookBrowse

Muehlenhaus, I. (2013). “Google Street View: An Invasion of Privacy?” ABC-CLIO

Muehlenhaus, I. (2013). “How to Read a Good Map,” NASA’s Global Climate Change Blog

Muehlenhaus, I. (2012). “How Technology Changes Perceptions of Human Geography,” ABC-CLIO

Select Long-Form Book Reviews

Muehlenhaus, I. (2021). “Best Laid Plans: A Nora Best Mystery #1” by Gwen Florio. BookBrowse Recommends, Feb (forthcoming)

Muehlenhaus, I. (2021). “Fundamentals: 10 Keys to Reality” by Frank Wilczek. BookBrowse Recommends, Jan 20

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War” by Delphine Minoui. BookBrowse Recommends, Nov 18

Mrozek, S. (2020). “We Have Been Harmonized: Life in China’s Surveillance State” by Kai Strittmatter, BookBrowse Recommends, Sep 16

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Crossings” by Alex Landragin. BookBrowse Recommends, Aug 8

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Ruthie Fear” by Maxim Loskutoff. BookBrowse First Impressions. Jul 13

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA” by Neil Shubin. BookBrowse Recommends, May 6

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind” by Jonah Goldberg. BookBrowse Recommends, Apr 8

Mrozek, S. (2020). “The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Sabotage” by Mara Hvistendahl. BookBrowse Recommends, March 20

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “The Sundown Motel,” by Simone St. James. BookBrowse First Impressions

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). “Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin’s Russia” by Joshua Yaffa. BookBrowse Recommends, Jan 20

Muehlenhaus, I. (2019). “Wyoming: A Novel” by J.P. Gritton. BookBrowse Recommends, Nov 13

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). Review: “The World at Their Fingertips: Eighteenth-Century British Two-Sheet Double Hemisphere World Maps,” by Geoff Armitage and Ashley Baynton-Williams. Cartographic Perspectives.

Muehlenhaus, I. (2012). Review: “Visualize This,” by Nathan Yau. Cartography and Geographic Information Society Journal, 39(3): 170-172

Muehlenhaus, I. (2011). Review: “GIS Cartography: A Guide to Effective Map Design,” by Gretchen Peterson. Cartographic Perspectives, 70: 66-67

Muehlenhaus, I. (2004). Review: “American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization,” by N. Smith. Arab World Geographer, 7 (3), 211-214

Miscellaneous Creative

Muehlenhaus, I. (forthcoming). “The Raspberry Pi 400: Taking Me Back to My Gen X Roots, and It Feels Fantastic,”

Muehlenhaus, I. (2021). “Hitman on Google Stadia Assassinates the Console Competition,”

Muehlenhaus, I. (2021). “Put Your Open Source Security Nightmares to Rest,”

Muehlenhaus, I. (2021). “Casual Gamer? Google Stadia is Made for You,”

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). Foreign Exchange Kid. Feature-Length Screenplay.

Muehlenhaus, I. (2020). Warroad. Feature-Length Screenplay Treatment.

Muehlenhaus, I. (2017). “10 Things Every GIS Professional Needs to Know about Map Design,”

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). “Reinventing the Syllabus: From Boring Legal Document to Motivational Tool,”

Editor Roles & Peer Reviewing

Associate Editor, Journal of Maps, 2012-present

Editorial Board Member, Cartographic Perspectives Journal, 2010-present

Peer Reviewer for:

  • Future Internet
  • Annals of the AAG
  • Political Geography
  • Journal of Maps
  • Polymath
  • Cartographica
  • International Journal of GIS
  • Journal of Spatial Science
  • Applied Geography
  • Guilford Press (Book Blurb Writer)
  • Nomad Press (Book Blurb)
  • CRC Press (Book Proposal Reviewer)

Select Research Publications

Muehlenhaus, I. (2019). “Banal Cartography: A Critique of Quantitative Content Analysis in Cartographic Research,” Proceedings of the International Cartographic Association

Muehlenhaus, I.(2018). “Internet Mapping,” The Routledge Handbook of Mapping and Cartography (A. Kent and P. Vujakovic, Ed.). London and New York: 375-387

B. Jenny, D.M. Stephen, I. Muehlenhaus , et al. (2018). “Design Principles for Origin Destination Flow Maps,” Cartography & Geographic Information Science 45 (1), 62-75

B. Jenny, D.M. Stephen, I. Muehlenhaus , et al. (2017). “Force-Directed Layout of Origin-Destination Flow Maps,” International Journal of GIS 31 (8)

Muehlenhaus, I.(2014). “Looking at the Big Picture: Adapting Film Theory to Examine Map Form, Meaning, and Aesthetic,” Cartographic Perspectives 77: 15-31

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). “Going Viral: The Look of Online Persuasive Maps,” Cartographica, 49(1): 18-34

Muehlenhaus, I. (2013). “The Design and Composition of Persuasive Maps,” Cartography and Geographic Information Sciences (CaGIS), November, 40(5): 401-414

Muehlenhaus, I. (2012). “If Looks Could Kill: The Impact of Rhetorical Styles in Persuasive Geocommunication,” The Cartographic Journal, 49(4): 361-375

Muehlenhaus, I. (2011). “Another Goode Method: How to Use Quantitative Content Analysis to Study Change in Thematic Map Design,” _Cartographic Perspectives,__69:_ 7-29

Muehlenhaus, I.(2011). “Genealogy that counts: Using Content Analysis to Explore the History of Persuasive Maps,” Cartographica, 46(1): 28-40

Muehlenhaus, I. (2011). “From Print to Mobile mApps: How to Take Adobe Illustrator Files, Add Pinch-to-Zoom, and Put Them on Android Market,” _Cartographic Perspectives,__69: 55-66_

Muehlenhaus, I. (2007). “World Systems Theory” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” entries in The Encyclopedia of Environment and Society_._ Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

Oas, I. (2005). “Shifting the Iron Curtain of Kantian Peace: NATO Expansion and the Magyars,” in The Geography of War and Peace (Colin Flint, Ed.). Oxford University Press, 395-414

Invited & Keynote Talks

Plenary Talk, “Creative Destruction in Professional GIS Education,” _Esri Education Conference,_San Diego, CA, 2017

Lecture, “The Importance of Design in Visual Communication,” _Digital Mapping for Social Good, TechChange, August 18, 2016

Keynote Talk, “Why Cartography Still Matters,” WLIA Conference, February 11, 2016

Banquet Pekachu, “Maps as Visual Copy,” North American Cartographic Information Society Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 16, 2015

Lecture, “Back to the Drawing Board? Web Map Design in an Era of Flat Design,” Masters in GIS Career Fair Keynote Speaker, University of Minnesota, Mar ch27, 2014

Lecture, “Maps as Rhetorical Weapons (or: Persuading People to See It Your Way),” Yi-Fu Tuan Lecture Series, University of Wisconsin – Madison, March 7, 2014

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). Map Design for Maximum Impact, Wisconsin Land Information Alliance Annual Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, Feb 13 – WLIA BEST PRESENTATION AWARD

Muehlenhaus, I. (2013). Effective Geocommunication in an Era of Data Overload, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, Mar 13

Muehlenhaus, I. (2012). The Impact of Rhetorical Design in Geocommunication, CartoTalk Lecture Series, Oregon State University, Oct 22

Muehlenhaus, I. (2008). Lost in Transformation: Nationalism in Post-Soviet EuropeNational Geographic Society, Washington, D.C., July 14

Technical Workshops

Ian’s YouTube Channel. (2013-present). “Map Design & GIS Tutorials,” >500,000 Views. 2000+ Subscribers.

Workshop. (2019). “Cartography: A Primer,” Professional GIS Workshop, Wisconsin Land Information Association Annual Conference, February

Workshop. (2017). “10 Design Tricks to Help You Make Amazing Maps,” Northern Area GIS Meeting, Ashland, WI, December

Workshop. (2017). “How to Design Persuasive Maps,” Professional GIS Workshop, Wisconsin Land Information Association Annual Conference, February

Demonstration. (2016). “Microsoft Sway for Interactive Lesson Design!” Active Teaching Workshop, UW-Madison, September

Workshop. (2016). “Recruiting the Silent Funnel: Getting Online Butts in Virtual Seats,” UW-Madison, Division of Continuing Studies, June

Tutorial. (2014). “Content Analysis of Maps (A How to Demonstration),” YouTube, November

Interview. (2013). “Interview with Dr. Ian Muehlenhaus,” NASA’s Global Climate Change Blog

Pro-Bono Workshop. (2013). Creating Dynamic Content with Google Maps for Use in Your Classroom, Center for Teaching and Learning, UW – La Crosse, September 25

Pro-Bono Consultant. (2012). Art in American Communities Web Mapping Project, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Washington, D.C., November 2011 – April 2012

Consultant. (2009). Spatial Dynamics of Austria and Central Europe in the 21st Century, K-12 Educators Geography Workshop, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, February 14

Consultant. (2008). My Wonderful World, National Geographic Society , Remote Contract, September

Faculty. (2008). European Borders K-12 InstituteNational Geographic Society, Wash.D.C., July

Select Grant Awards

UW-Madison Chancellor’s Office Development Grant, 2018-2019, $500,000

National Science Foundation Grant, $81,000Collaborative Proposal: Flow Maps for Movement Visualization: Digital Generation and Cognitive Evaluation, Principal Investigator: Ian Muehlenhaus, Funded via Geography and Spatial Sciences Program Aug 2014 – Jul 2016

International Development Fund Grant, $3,250, UW – La Crosse, June 2013

GIS and Visualization Curriculum Redesign Grant, $10,000, UW – La Crosse, March 2013

Service Leadership

National and International Organizations

  • Chair, Commission on Map Design, International Cartographic Association, 2019-present
  • Director, Cartography and Geographical Information Society Board, 2014-2017
  • Vice-Chair, Chair, and Past-Chair,Cartography Specialty Group of the AAG, 2011-2015

Local & Community Organizations

  • Board, McFarland Education Foundation, 2019-2020
  • Advisor, Anime Club, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
  • Advisor, Women’s Rugby Club, University of Wisconsin – River Falls

Select Research Presentations

Muehlenhaus, I. (2019). Banal Cartography, International Cartographic Conference (ICC), Tokyo, Japan.

Muehlenhaus, I. (2018). Words Matter: Copywriting for Spatial Visualization, American Association of Geographers, New Orleans, LA

Muehlenhaus, I., Fu, I., and Gruley K. (2016). Personalized Learning in an Online Program: Instructional Design, Assessment, and Programming, UW-Madison Teaching and Learning Symposium, May 18

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). Adapting Theories of Form, Meaning, and Style for Map Research, North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, Oct 9

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). Adapting Film Theory for Cartographic Analysis, AutoCarto Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Oct 6

Muehlenhaus, I. (2014). Adapting Film Theory to Analyze Map Narrative, Form, and Aesthetic, Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Tampa, FL

Muehlenhaus, I. (2013). Web Map Aesthetics for Effective Communication, NACIS Annual Conference, Greenville, South Carolina, Oct 10

Muehlenhaus, I. (2013.) Four Rhetorical Styles of Persuasive Geocommunication: A Taxonomy, International Cartographic Conference (ICC), International Cartographic Association (ICA), Dresden, Germany, Aug 29

Muehlenhaus, I. (2012). “Going Viral: The Evolution of Online Persuasive Maps” NACIS Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon, Oct 17

Muehlenhaus, I. (2012). “Some of These Maps Are Not Like the Others…” A Framework for Measuring How Design Impacts Map Reader Reactions to Spatial Data, AAG Annual Conference, New York

Muehlenhaus, I. (2011). mApp to the Future: Map Apps and the Future of Mapping, NACIS Annual Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, Oct

Dooley, M. and I. Muehlenhaus. (2010). Mapping UFO Sighting Data: Pitfalls and Possibilities, NACIS Annual Conference, St. Petersburg, Florida, Oct

Professional Development

Competency Certifications

Certificates of Completion

  • Bash Scripting, LinkedIn Learning, 2020
  • Unix for Mac OS X Users, LinkedIn Learning, 2020
  • Video Script Writing, LinkedIn Learning, 2019
  • Content Marketing: Social Media, LinkedIn Learning, 2019
  • Learning Screenwriting, LinkedIn Learning, 2019
  • Writing Ad Copy, 2019, LinkedIn Learning,
  • Screenwriting with Final Draft 10, LinkedIn Learning, 2019
  • Persuasive Coaching, LinkedIn Learning, 2019
  • Persuasive Selling, LinkedIn Learning, 2019
  • Time Management Tips, LinkedIn Learning, 2016
  • Content Marketing: Newsletters,, 2016

Technical & Professional Skills

Writing & Research

Composition Software

MS Word | Apple Pages | Markdown | Google Docs | FinalDraft | MS Visual Studio Code | Brackets | WordPress | Writer

Writing & Editing Experience

Copyediting | Copywriting | Blog Posts | Non-Fiction Research | Scriptwriting | Screenplay Writing | Short Fiction | Curriculum Design | Instructional Design | Scientific Writing

Research Software & Skills

MS Excel | Apple Numbers | Google Sheets | SPSS | R (basic) | Python 3 | Web Data Scraping | Quantitative Content Analysis | Qualitative Methodologies

Graphic Design, Presentation, and Multimedia

Graphic Design Software and Skills

Adobe Illustrator (strong) | Photoshop (proficient) | InDesign (proficient) | Audition (proficient)

Presentation & Learning Design Software | MS PowerPoint | Apple Keynote | Google Slides | Articulate Storyline | Articulate Rise | Adobe Captivate | Adobe Spark

Video and Audio Production

TechSmith Camtasia | Kaltura MediaSpace | Apple iMovie | Apple GarageBand | Adobe Audition

IT, Web Dev, and Programming

Operating System Administration

MacOS | Unix | Debian Linux (Ubuntu, Kali, Raspi) | Bash | Windows 10 | PowerShell | iOS | Android | Chromium

Learning Management Systems (LMSs)

Canvas | Desire2Learn (BrightSpace) | Moodle | Blackboard

Coding and Web Communication

Python 3 (proficient) | HTML5 (proficient) | JavaScript (proficient) | CSS (proficient) | SQL (proficient) | Django (basic) | Bash Scripting (basic)

In My Spare Time I…

  • Hang out with the family
  • Write screenplays
  • Read screenplays and popular non-fiction
  • Code, develop, and experiment with the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Learn new skills on LinkedIn Learning and Coursera Plus
  • Cross-country ski
  • Think about our quantum universe while listening to Philosophize This!