Tom Igoe of Arduino’s Datalogging Workshop

If there’s one thing that all environmental data collection projects share, it’s the need to log the data.  There are many good frameworks and kits for data logging at the moment. Most of them share the same basic system: a set of sensors, a microcontroller, and either a connection to the internet or a storage volume like an SD card. Understanding how those pieces fit together makes it easier to evaluate which data collection tool is right for you.

On Saturday morning at 10:00 in the Chadwick Building at UCL,  Tom Igoe (one of the co-founders of Arduino) will give an intro to data collection using a microcontroller. (The Workshop is for 20 people max, so be sure to look for the sign-up sheet at the Registration tables throughout the Summit)

Topics covered include:

* Sensor interfaces to microcontrollers
* Data storage interfaces to microcontrollers
* Graphing Sensor Data in less than ten lines of code
* Collecting data on an SD card for later upload
* Uploading data using Pachube (or other online data storage)

Arduino & Air Quality Sensor. Photo Credit: Mark Meagher

Since all air quality data measurements depend on knowing the basic temperature and humidity conditions, we’ll use a temperature and humidity sensor as an example, and look at how to graph it, store it in the field, and bring it back home to map it.
From there, it’s up to you and your knowledge. Given these basics, we’ll discuss best practices for air quality data collection. The challenge: What can you do to improve participatory air quality data collection?

* What other sensors will you use?
* How do you calibrate your system?
* What in-the-field practices give you the best results?
* What collection protocols are easiest the implement for the most accurate results?
* How do you present the data in a compelling and useful form?
This will be a hands-on session. Participants will build a data collector in the morning workshop,  head into the field in the afternoon to gather data, then come back in the afternoon to share data, best practices, and ways to improve data collection by borrowing from each other’s systems and practices. Bring your tools, software, hardware, sensor, and data, and let’s share with each other.

Participants of all levels of experience are welcome, from novice to expert.  There will only be space for 20 people at the workshop, so a sign-up sheet will be available throughout the Summit for you to write your name down. (If you can’t join us until Saturday, be sure to e-mail the organisers to let your interest be known). We’ll ask you to share a bit about yourself on the sign-up sheet so that we can get a sense of the group’s general knowledge, i.e.:

O I’ve never written a program, nor built a circuit
O I’m comfortable programming or electronics, but not both
O I’m a hardware hacking enthusiast/expert
O I’ve got good knowledge of environmental science
O I’ve heard of Arduino, but never used it
O Ard-what?
O I’ve built my own environmental monitoring equipment
What you can do to get ready for the workshop:

* download the Arduino software on your machine, available at http://www.arduino.cc
* Bring any sensors you love to use with microcontrollers with you
* Make sure you’re aware of how to share your Wifi internet connection with your Ethernet port
* Windows 7: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Using-ICS-Internet-Connection-Sharing
* OSX: http://mac.appstorm.net/how-to/internet-howto/sharing-your-internet-connection-via-wi-fi/