Jaap Boter (1966) studied Musicology (MA) at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Having worked for a number of years as a consultant and lecturer of Arts Marketing at Utrecht University, he switched to the Marketing Department of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2001 as an assistant professor and later associate professor. In 2005, he defended his PhD research on the local role of cultural amenities based on their transaction data; such as theatre box office data, museum visiting behaviour of Dutch National Museum Card holders, and borrowing data of public library patrons. Since 2009, Jaap has also held the Royal Booksellers Association Chair on Book Trade at the University of Amsterdam, studying the role of local bookstores, particularly in their assortment diversity and the distribution of new book titles.

While GIS was originally simply included to map customers as a convenient part of big data analytics, his enthusiasm for the potential of GIS techniques grew rapidly and became an important foundation of his research. More recently, Jaap has moved to the Vrije Universiteit Spatial Information Laboratory (Spinlab) where he focuses on the (broader) role of GIS in society. He is particularly interested in how spatial information is best presented and interacted with to involve stakeholders and aid decision makers. One of the latest Spinlab projects on this, in collaboration with Geo-ICT company Geodan, is on how to develop and use Digital Twins and gaming environments such as Minecraft for this.