Ground to cover for R2R, or how to define an Area of Interest

Months are spent on writing a project proposal, thinking it through, and rewriting it until you are fully convinced that all bases are covered. That leaves a good feeling, which usually lasts until, well, the project is accepted. During the kick-off party, someone is bound to ask ‘so what are you going to do, and where exactly?’. All heads will turn your way, including those of your partners, because they won’t have a clue either.

That is because also very good proposals can be extremely vague on such essential aspects. Knowing that is of course of little comfort while you find yourself in the center of attention, and feel all self-assurance drain from your body.

Area of Interest of the Roer-to-Rhine case study of the GeoConnect³d project. From Debacker et al., 2018, click on figure to access.

Therefore some expert advice on how to react. Without the slightest twitch, answer something like ‘Where exactly? That will become clear once we have fully defined our Area of Interest…‘. And no further questions will follow.

But apart from being a social life-saver, an Area of Interest (AoI) is actually a crucial aspect for multi-partner projects. Early on in the project, it is an essential tool for guiding discussions on who will provide data or regional expertise, at what level of detail the anticipated area can be covered, and what new insights or products can be realized.

The picture shows the Roer-to-Rhine area, and where we currently are in defining for which part the Structural Framework Model will be realized. This work in progress shows available 3D models as red contours, and the AoI as a yellow shape. As you can see, we like being ambitious… but we will also do a few more reality checks in the weeks to come.

We promised you some live-insights into our project. Hopefully you are not disappointed to learn that it is about having kick-off parties, and sorting things out. Science is on the menu as well, and surely we’ll come to that in one of our next posts.

Kris Piessens – coordinator

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