Connect to the Natural World

View the Project on GitHub mganucheau/Connect-to-the-Natural-World

A guide to plugging plants into the web using Arduino, Processing and Google Docs.

I've always been frustrated with the technical and time requirements needed to view physical sensor data on the web. Services like Xively, ThingSpeak and Nimbits all provide excellent features, but they also require enough prerequisite knowledge of specific web technologies to appear intimidating, especially to those new to programming. While searching for an easier method to employ in youth programs, I came across some wonderful examples on and Instructables on how to use Google Docs as an simplified the process significantly.

This tutorial is designed to give a brief overview of facilitating multiple software and hardware components. With that said, this process can be streamlined even further with devices such as an Arduino Wifi Shield, Raspberry Pi or an Electric Imp, to name just a few.

Hardware used in this tutorial:

Software used in this tutorial:

1. Arduino



Sensor Range
Humidity 20% - 90% (RH)
Temperature 0 - 50 (C)
Moisture 0 - 950

2. Google Forms




3. Processing


4. Visualize it

=INDEX( A:A ; ROWS( A:A ) )
=INDEX( B:B ; ROWS( B:B ) )
=INDEX( C:C ; ROWS( C:C ) )
=INDEX( D:D ; ROWS( D:D ) )




Note: The downside to viewing the gauge with this method is that the gauge chart will only update when the page is reloaded. To have the gauge automatically refresh we will need to use some javascript to define how we populate the gauge. Stay tuned for that tutorial to come!