Weekend fun with the Dutch Railways API

A short while ago, NS made an API available. So I thought I’d put it to use and write a little app that shows delays of trains on the 20 busiest train stations in Holland.

I got a Google Appengine account, had a look around for the right technology stack and got going. Here’s the result (in Dutch).

A bit about the technologies involved:

  • I needed an easy way of hosting. Appengine provided that. Getting up and going was extremely easy with IntelliJ.
  • I’m a Java guy, so I went for the Java version of Appengine. Lately though, I have been enjoying Groovy. Good thing that that will run just fine on Appengine.
  • I looked at running Grails on Appengine first but decided that Gaelyk would be a better fit. Using Grails would be a bit like working against the grain of Appengine, which is a different beast.
  • To display the chart, I used Google’s Visualization API. Sadly, it uses Flash under the hood. I might change the chart type soon.

Gaelyk was fun to work with, doing a simple thing like this really suits it well.

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