Advisory Council

Michael Ratcliffe

Assistant Division Chief for Geocartographic Products and Criteria, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Michael Ratcliffe is Assistant Division Chief for Geocartographic Products and Criteria, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, where he is responsible for mapping, preparation of TIGER/Line files and other geographic products, as well as programs related to the development of concepts and criteria for geographic areas for use in tabulating census and survey data. He has worked in both the Geography and Population Divisions, primarily on programs related to places, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, and urban/rural definitions. Mr. Ratcliffe received his Bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Maryland and a Master of Letters in Geography from the University of Oxford.




May Yuan

Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor and Brandt Professor of Geoformatics in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, the Director of Geoinformatics Program, and the Director of Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma

May Yuan (BS 1987 National Taiwan University; MS 1992 and Ph.D. 1994 State University of New York at Buffalo; http://csa.ou.edu/users/yuan2810) is Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor and Brandt Professor of Geoformatics in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, the Director of Geoinformatics Program, and the Director of Center for Spatial Analysis at the University of Oklahoma.

May's research interest is in temporal GIS, geographic representation, spatiotemporal information modeling, and applications of geographic information and spatial thinking to dynamic systems. Her research projects center on representation models, algorithms for spatiotemporal analysis, and modeling of spatial dynamics in human-environment systems. She explores multiple perspectives of dynamics, examines the influences of space syntax on human activities, analyzes spatiotemporal patterns and behavioral structures of dynamic systems, and draws insights into the system development and evolution to derive an integrated understanding, interpretation, and prediction of activities, events, and processes.

Her research is published in a wide range of scientific journals, proceedings, and books. She is a member of Mapping Science Committee at the National Academy of Science, a member of American Association of Geographers Honors Committee, American Editor of the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, member of the editorial boards of Annals of American Association of Geographers and Transaction in GIS, member of the academic committee of United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and President of University Consortium of Geographic Information Science.




Michael DeMers

Professor of Geography, New Mexico State University


Michael DeMers is Professor of Geography at New Mexico State University where he teaches Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), GIS Institutional Design, Geodatabase Design, and Landscape Ecology. He is the author of numerous articles, textbooks and trade books on GIS, including GIS for Dummies. He serves as Vice Chair for External Relations of the National Council for Geographic Education and Vice Chair, Geography Education Specialty Group, for the Association of American Geographers. He holds a PhD in geography from the University of Kansas.



Matthew Gentile


Principal of Geospatial Analytics, Deloitte

Mr. Gentile is a recognized thought leader and entrepreneur in the geospatial community dedicating the past 16 years to working at the intersection of public policy and geospatial technology. Mr. Gentile began his career as a White House staffer supporting environmental science and policy development in the White House Office on Environmental Policy in the mid-1990s. He went on to build businesses that focused on combining the distributive and collaborative power of the WWW with the analytic and visualization capability of geographic information systems (GIS). In 1997, Mr. Gentile co-founded Syncline, a hosted geospatial services company. As CEO of Syncline, he quickly became an industry leader, revolutionizing how State, Local and Federal government published and shared geospatial data on the web with the flagship MapCiti platform.

In 2003, he co-founded, Traverse Technologies where his focus was providing world-class strategic consulting and software development services toward the collaborative exchange, display and analysis of geospatial content. While CEO of Traverse Technologies, Mr. Gentile’s work included support to the Department of Homeland Security’s Geospatial Management Office, the US Census Bureau Geography Division, the US Air Force, and the United States Secret Service. He also led efforts at the world’s two largest commercial satellite imagery companies in the design and development of rapid-discovery and dissemination systems for sub-meter hi-resolution imagery used in military, intelligence, environmental and emergency response efforts throughout the world. Since 1999, Mr. Gentile has sponsored support for the OpenGeospatial Consortium through numerous test beds and pilot projects and led numerous clients through the process of assessing and implementing OGC standards in their enterprise.

Mr. Gentile brings this considerable technical knowledge and innovative entrepreneurial skill to Deloitte as the leader of the Geospatial Analytics practice. Michael Ratcliffe is Assistant Division Chief for Geocartographic Products and Criteria, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, where he is responsible for mapping, preparation of TIGER/Line files and other geographic products, as well as programs related to the development of concepts and criteria for geographic areas for use in tabulating census and survey data. He has worked in both the Geography and Population Divisions, primarily on programs related to places, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, and urban/rural definitions. Mr. Ratcliffe received his Bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Maryland and a Master of Letters in Geography from the University of Oxford.



Twyla McDermott


Corporate Strategic Technology Planning Manager, City of Charlotte, North Carolina

Twyla McDermott is currently the Corporate Strategic Technology Planning Manager for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina. She manages the City of Charlotte Enterprise GIS program across 14 departments to maximize investments, implement standards and develop policies to reduce duplication of geospatial investments. Her work also focuses on coordination of technology at all government levels through the implementation of Enterprise Architecture Planning. Her current efforts at the City of Charlotte are focused on master data management for location domains and developing the collaborative GIS service platform.

Ms. McDermott’s GIS career spans 25 years in the public and private sectors with numerous consulting and project engagements in land development, retail analysis, health services research and regional strategic planning for metropolitan areas in the US. She has a undergraduate degrees in Geology and Accounting and a masters degree in Geography.

Ms. McDermott was elected to the Board of Directors for the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) in 2009. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, a position she has held since 1996. She has also been involved in environmental efforts in the Charlotte Metropolitan Region since the early 1990s. In her spare time, you can find her cycling, kayaking and in the ceramics studio with mud-caked hands.



Tom Conry


Manager of GIS and Mapping Branch, Fairfax County

Tom Conry has been the manager of Fairfax County’s GIS and Mapping Branch since 1999. Over that period, the branch has progressively leveraged the incredible developments in spatial technology and in enterprise systems to deliver GIS data and services to more than 11,000 county staff and to public web users. GIS is a core service in the county and is used in numerous county systems, including CAD/911, tax administration and public works. The successful implementation of the GIS-based CAD system was a challenging multi-year, multi-agency effort. The Branch recently released an award winning web 3-D application. The GIS office today maintains and serves over 9 TB of data on the 406 sq. miles of the county.

Tom has over 25 years of experience in information systems, and over 14 years of experience in GIS. Prior to joining Fairfax County he worked in private industry for 17 years, and non-profit groups before then. He has advanced degrees in both Chemistry and Computer Science. Currently he serves on the Washington DC Council of Government’s GIS Committee and has been elected to URISA’s Board of Directors.