Michael Minn

Instructor, Developer, Musician, Photographer
Michael Minn



I am a teaching assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science at the University of Illinois, teaching classes in geographic information systems. I maintain an extensive collection of online GIS tutorials in support of my teaching activities. I have also taught classes in geospatial technology, energy, and human geography in the Department of History, Politics and Geography at Farmingdale State College, the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Eastern Washington University, and the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Denver.

My research interests include energy and transportation, urban futures, and open-source software. As a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois I researched American intercity passenger rail in the context of potential future energy constraints. As a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at U of I I investigated Detection of foreclosure-related landscape management changes using Landsat and The Production of Space in Maricopa County.



I created and support MMQGIS, a plugin tool set for the QGIS open source geographic information system. I maintain an extensive collection of online GIS tutorials in support of my teaching activities.

Open Source

I am an advocate for the Linux computer operating system, which I have used on my home systems exclusively since 2000. I have maintained a number of Linux installation and documentation pages over the years.


I am well-versed in C/C++, PHP, Python, R, HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and all of my personal web content is hand-coded and ad-free. I have been working with various flavors of UNIX since graduating from North Texas State with a Master's degree in Computer Science.



I've been performing music of some kind for most of my life and have been a singer / songwriter since the late 1980s, specializing in pop vocal harmony. This website includes MP3 collections of some of my work.


I wrote and produced Mossadegh, a rock opera based on the C.I.A.-orchestrated 1953 Iranian coup, for the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival and the show website had a surprising afterlife, receiving attention from the BBC, Radio Farda, and numerous Iranian blogs. I also wrote and produced the musical comedy The Irreplaceable Commodity for the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival. Tales from my experiences producing at the Fringe Festival are described here.


I maintain comprehensive online discographies for Louis Armstrong, Maynard Ferguson, Sarah Vaughan.


I have a music education degree from North Texas State (now UNT) and I've played a number of instruments at various times and at modest levels of proficiency. I marched for three seasons with the drum corps Blue Stars (1980), Louisiana Southernaires (1981) and Madison Scouts (1984).


From 1991-2006 I worked in theatre in New York City. Off-Broadway I appeared as a performer in the musicals Making Tracks and Shanghai Lil's. Regionally I appeared in productions of 42nd Street (Julian), The Pajama Game (Sid), The King & I (King). Television credits include All My Children, As The World Turns, The City, Law & Order and background work on an extensive number of other forgettable television shows and feature films. You may view my theatrical photo résumé HERE...

I toured four seasons with the award-winning children's theatre company Theatreworks/USA (Secret Garden, Swiss Family Robinson, Charlotte's Web, Romeo & Juliet) and worked as a stage manager with Artspower, The Kaleidoscope Theatre Company and the 78th Street Theatre Lab. At various times I have been a member of The Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity Association, AGMA, AFTRA and SAG.

I maintain a marginal connection with the theatre by maintaining the ballet history site Andros on Ballet as a legacy for the late instructor Dick Andros, as well as the website for the Obie-award-winning The National Asian-American Theatre Company.


I am an avid street photographer and student of the built environment.

Cities Structures New York Theatres Railroads Privett