He was a cartographer, cosmographer and a Hebrew scholar. His work , the Cosmographia from 1544 was the earliest German description of the world. It was most important in reviving geography in 16th century Europe.
Muenster had been appointed to the University of Basel in 1527. As Professor of Hebrew he edited the Hebrew Bible, accompanied by Latin translation.
In 1540 he published a Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia with illustrations. The 1550 edition contains cities, portraits and costumes.These editions printed in Germany are the most valued of the Cosmographias.
Muenster also wrote the Dictionarium trilingue in Greek, Latin and Hebrew and Mappa Europae or map of Europe in 1536.
He was pictured on the old 100 DM banknotes that were replaced at the beginning of the 1990s.