Jens Segers on

iRail Summer of code week

I was quite nervous to be starting as a project manager of 2 projects during these 3 weeks. But looking back at the past 2 weeks I think I did a great job leading and helping both teams. Both projects and their team members have progressed in a way I could not imagine. Even though we are working from 9 to 5, we all have a real good time.


Since open data is becoming more and more popular we can start developing our own creative applications using that data. FlatTurtle does exactly that. It is a system that has a special turtle for each type of data. There is a turtle that likes train data, there is one that likes airplane data and there is a turtle that likes twitter. Combine all of these turtles together and you get a nice visualization of that data.

If you are the owner of a building that attracts a lot of people and you want to inform your visitors of what is going on around this area, you can put all of these turtles on a nice big screen. Data about public transport, twitter mentions, weather perils, ... suddenly become the hot spot of your building.


During the pas 2 weeks we have developed a mobile application that allows you to controll all the turtles on the screen. Say you want to see what the weather forecast will be for the next hours, with the touch of a button you can call a turtle that will display this information on the screen. Each mobile device with this application connects to our central management system called the Control Bay. All commands are translated to the turtle language and send to the correct screen.

iRail 3.0 and PlugID

iRail 3.0 is an ambitious project to update the existing iRail application. It’s a stable application used daily by more than 5000 users. Our goal is to bring the app to the next level. Beyond today’s basic application, we work to offer integration with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Vikingspots.

To do this, we’re working on making an identity manager called PlugID, which will be the behind-the-scenes app that links you to these services. You’ll be able to use any of these services to let people know what you’re doing, where you’re going and how late your train is going to be. And if you have to wait for your train to arrive, you’ll be able to look up interesting spots near your location.

irail team

To do this, we have implemented our own OAuth 2 authentication server. Behind this server we can connect to diverse social networks with different API technologies. When developing an application using PlugID you will only need to know how OAuth 2 works, we handle the rest of the work.

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