V.S. Tikunov was born on January 30, 1949 in Bryansk.
In 1966 entered the Geograpy faculty of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov which graduated with honors in 1971 and at once started his post-graduate studies.
In 1974 defended his PhD on "Developing methods for the automatic compiling certain types of social and economic maps", and in 1983 a doctoral thesis on «Modeling the thematic content of maps (using social and economic maps as an example)". Was conferred the degree of associate professor in 1981, and the one of professor in 1991.
Since 1995, heads the Laboratory of Comprehensive Mapping and since 2011- the Regional Center of the World Data System in the Geography Faculty of M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University.
In 1999 was awarded the Prize named after D.N. Anuchin for works on math- and cartographic modeling. Laureate of the Russian Federation Government Prize in Science and Technology (2004) for the developing environmental and natural resource atlases of Russia. Was awarded the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government Prize for contribution in the social and economic development of the district (2008).
Since 1996 was a member, The chairman of the commission and chairman of a working group, Vice-President of the International Cartographic Association. It coordinates activities of more than 80 countries in the field of cartography and GIS. For 16 years, in 1991 - 2003, and 2008 -2012 was a member of the Commission for Geographic Information Sciences of the International Geographical Union. Full member of the Russian Natural Sciences Academy (Department of Informatics and Cybernetics) and the Eurasia International Science Academy. Directed a number of national and international projects, among them are: Russian Foundation for Basic Research, RGNF, Universities of Russia - fundamental research, the "Integration" program; MacArthur Foundation, INTAS, RSS, NWO. Many developments were put into practice through creating a series of thematic maps and atlases such as the National Atlas of Russia (editor-in-chief of volume 3), the Ecological Atlas of Russia, the Atlas of the Khanty & Mansi Autonomous Okrug (Region) - Ugra, and others.
In the MGU has developed and conducts several courses for students majoring in Geography and Cartography: Mathematical and Cartographic Modeling (since 1975 up to now), Physical and Mathematical Foundations of Automation in Cartography (1984-1987), GIS (since 1989 up to now), GIS and Modeling (since 1997 up to now), GIS for sustainable development (since 2013 up to now). Held lectures on cartography (1987-1994) and Sustainable Development (individual lectures). In 2005 received a grant from the Government of Moscow "Professor - 2005".
Has been a member of the editorial board of journals: "Bulletin of the Moscow State University, series of Geography", "Geodesy and cartography", "Problems of Regional Ecology", "Caucasian Geographical Journal", "Information of Irkutsk State University, series of Sciences about the Earth", "Science. Innovation. Technologies", "Geography. Environment. Sustainability", "Geographical Systems. The International Journal of Geographical Information, Analysis, Theory and Decision"(1993-2003), "GeoInformatica". The International Journal on Geographic Information Systems, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Micro, Macro & Mezzo Geo Information, International Journal of Digital Earth, New Russian Encyclopedia, Advisor to «Geographic Information Sciences». (Hong Kong).
Lectured in Russian and foreign universities Irkutsk, Yaroslavl, Penza), Brno (Czechoslovakia), universities in the states of New York and California (USA), at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa), Wageningen and Enschede (Netherlands), Cambridge (United Kingdom), Santiago (Chile), Havana (Cuba), Guangzhou and Urumqi (China), Sevastopol (at the time in the Ukraine), Reykjavik (Iceland), Geneva (Switzerland), Astana (Kazakhstan) and Berlin (Germany). Since 2003, arranged summer schools on modern problems of Geoinformatics in the Ukraine, Turkey and four times in China. Was elected a member of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Information Sciences of Earth and Space of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Has published more than 500 works, including 19 monographs, textbooks and teaching aids in 28 countries in 14 languages. In the years of 1977-78 passed a ten-month scientific internship in England. Also visited the USA (1987), the Netherlands (1991) and the UK (1993, 1999) on matters of scientific work. Many times participated in scientific conferences in Russia and abroad. Since 1994 has conducted the annual international conferences InterCarto-InterGIS "Sustainable Development of Territories: Theory of GIS and Practical Experience", which take place partly in Russia, partly abroad.