As a geographer, I view maps and map-based systems as tools to help solve complex problems that have a prominent geographic component; I therefore am a proponent of both interdisciplinary and applied research in addition to basic science. My own work has had practical applications to crime analysis, emergency response/crisis management, environmental conservation, and spatial epidemiology/public health.


  • PhD: Geography—Penn State University
  • MS: Cartography & GIS—University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BS: Cartography & GIS—University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Areas

My research focuses on the topics of Cartography, Geovisualization, and Geovisual Analytics with specific emphasis on:

  • interactive & web-based mapping
  • human-computer interaction & UI/UX design
  • user-centered design & usability engineering
  • map-supported human reasoning & decision-making, particularly under conditions of uncertainty

I encourage you to visit my Publications and Presentations pages to view my work; most resources are available as open pdfs.

Cartography at UW-Madison

Unlike most American Geography Departments, graduate students attending UW-Madison are able to earn either a Certificate or non-terminal Masters degree in Cartography & GIS. The Cartography Program at UW-Madison historically has been considered among the world's elite and affords many unique opportunities and resources for students pursuing advanced degrees in Cartography, including the UW-Madison Cartography Laboratory, the History of Cartography Project, the Robinson Map Library, and the State Cartographer's Office.

Press about UW-Madison Cartography:

Courses Taught

I am responsible for the four courses that contribute towards the Cartography portion of the Cartography/GIS programs; past syllabi and student final projects can be viewed on the course homepages:

Current Students

Alicia Iverson
Leanne Abraham
Ross Thorn
Chelsea Nestel
Meghan Kelly
Carl Sack
Nick Underwood

Perspective Students

I encourage prospective graduate students with interests in Cartography, Geovisualization, and Geovisual Analytics to contact me directly with any questions you may have about the programs.

Contact Information

Robert Roth, PhD
Office: 375 Science Hall
Email: reroth@wisc.edu
Twitter: @RobertERoth