Assoc. Prof. Jan D. Bláha, Ph.D.
J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem
Associate Professor at J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem (Department of Geography)
Qualifications and studies
Graduate of the master programme of Geography and Cartography, specialised in cartography and geoinformatics, at Faculty of Science of the Charles University in Prague. Examination paper was called “The Aesthetics of Cartographic Works“ (Estetika kartografické tvorby, supervised by assoc. prof. Richard Čapek, defended 2003), diploma thesis was called “Aesthetical Assessment of the Czech Cartographic Production for Schools“ (Hodnocení české kartografické tvorby pro školy z hlediska estetiky, supervised by prof. Vít Voženílek, defended 2005). Absolvent of the second cycle of the graduate programme Cartography, geoinformatics and remote sensing (Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography). Dissertation was called “Aesthetic Values of Cartographic Works: User-focused Aspects of Assessment of Cartographic Works“ (Estetické hodnoty kartografických děl: uživatelské aspekty hodnocení kartografických děl, supervised by assoc. prof. Karel Stibral, defended 2013).
Graduate of the master programme of General Theory and History of Arts and Culture, Theory of Culture, specialised in cultural anthropology, at Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague (Department of Cultural Studies). Examination paper was called “Cultural Aspects of Cartographic Creation (Input Study)“ (Kulturní aspekty kartografické tvorby: vstupní studie, supervised by Martin Soukup, PhD, defended 2010), diploma thesis was called “Cultural Aspects of Cartographic Creation: Use of Mental Maps in Cross-cultural Research“ (Kulturní aspekty kartografické tvorby: Využití mentálních map v mezikulturním výzkumu, supervised by assoc. prof. Martin Soukup, defended 2012).
Dissertation thesis dealt with aesthetic values of cartographic production (supervised by assoc. prof. Karel Stibral, PhD., Department of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Social Studies in Brno, consultants were prof. Dr. Vít Voženílek, Department of Geoinformatics, Faculty of Science in Olomouc, prof. Dr. Vlastimil Zuska, Department of Aesthetics, Faculty of Arts in Prague).
It deals with the interconnection of knowledge from humanistic fields (aesthetics, sociology, psychology, cultural anthropology) and cartography and cartographic production (aesthetic expression and possibilities of creativity in current cartographic production, cultural universals and specifics in cartographic creation), assessment of cartographic works in terms of aesthetics and user-friendliness, map creation, cartography in geoinformatic systems, computers graphics and DTP, finalization of cartographic work creation.
During 2003–2005 external cooperation with the Kartografie Praha publishing company (editorial and graphical works).
In winter term of 2008/9 ERASMUS scholarship at the Technische Universität Wien = Vienna University of Technology (Forschungsgruppe für Kartographie = Research Group Cartography). In Oct 2011 language scholarship at the Goethe Institut Berlin. In May 2013 research fellowship at the Leibniz-Institut in Leipzig (Saxony), in January-February 2014 at the Vienna University of Technology - project NeoCartoLink.
From 2005 member of Česká geografická společnost (Czech Geographical Society), from 2008 member of Art & Cartography (Commission of ICA), 2011–4 representative of Czechia in this commission, 2013–5 member of Maps and Society (Commission of ICA, commission has been canceled) and from 2014 member of European Society for Oceanists (ESfO). Since 2012, he participates in the preparation and implementation of Czech Geographic Olympiad (especially cartographic creation), since 2015 member of the Central Commission for Czech Geographic Olympiad.
From April to June 2015, from June to July 2016, in July 2018 and in September 2019, he realized with assoc. prof. Martin Soukup three interdisciplinary field researches using methods of anthropology and geography in the community Nungon (Papua New Guinea, Morobe Province, Uruwa Valley).
Pedagogical activities oriented primarily at cartography and map creation. In addition to teaching Introduction to Cartography, Topography and Cartometry at Pedagogical Faculty of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice (summer term 2006/2007) cooperation on the subjects Cartography (selected lectures), Thematic Cartography (selected lectures), Geoinformation Systems (seminar), Introduction to Geoinformatics (seminar) and Map Creation (Charles University in Prague).
Guarantor of the optional subjects Graphic Design and DTP in Cartography and Analysis of Cartographic Works. Moreover, preparation and implementation of the Seminar to Bachelor Thesis Writing. Associate Professor at J. E. Purkyně University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography. Further details can be found in the section on teaching.
Research is oriented at the application of aesthetics in the means of expression of cartography and other activities related to cartographers’ creativity (see section on aesthetics).
Leader of the project GA UK č. 249/2006/B-GEO/PrF "Aesthetics in Cartographic Expression” (Uplatnění estetiky ve vyjadřovacích prostředcích kartografie, in progress throughout 2006–2008) and project GA UK č. 26609/2009/B-GEO/PrF "Mental Maps: Object and Tools for Assessment" (Mentální mapy: předmět a prostředek hodnocení, in progress throughout 2009–2011). Participation in other projects.