This is such a common thing to do these days, it is
Here is the issue. Say you have some data associated with your research project and are adding to it and doing analyses. Chances are, you have it shoved into an Excel spreadsheet that is on your laptop, your home computer, the computer in the lab, a backup disk (you are keeping backups, right?), and even perhaps shared on a Cloud Drive with your collaborators/advisors/partner/whatever. Great! Now you have absolutely no way to know which version of the dataset is the real one and which are wrong.
Publishing Spreadsheets from Google Drive
In R, we can use the ability to serve out spreadsheet-like data as *.csv files using Google Drive. This way, the data are in one (and only one) location and can be accessed by anyone you would like to grant access. Here is how to set it up.
First, on Google Drive, you need to tell it to make a spreadsheet available and how to publish it. This is done from the menu as File -> Publish to the Web… A dialog box will pop up, like the one below, and let you select which sheet is published and what it is published as. The salient part here is that you should select Comma separated values (*.csv) as the output type. The URL that is provided in the image below should be copied as we will be using it in R to grab the data.
Next, you can fire up R (I use RStudio as a sane interface) and make sure you have the RCurl library installed. If not, install it like this:
So to load the file from Google Drive, we need to format the URL from Google Drive
require(RCurl) link <- "https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QL9fYeKkDKphba12WLVTBJrv_d1WHTc9SrZoBeIFgj8/pub?gid=0&single=true&output=csv" url <- getURL( link )
Then open an internet connection asking for a text-based communication between Google Drive and your R session
con <- textConnection( url )
and then pull the data into R as if it was on the local filesystem.
data <- read.csv( con )
And your data should be there.
summary(data) # Population SampleID X.Coordinate Y.Coordinate Cf.G8 # Min. :2.000 Min. :203.0 Min. : 346 Min. : 254 Min. :147.0 # 1st Qu.:3.000 1st Qu.:315.5 1st Qu.:1482 1st Qu.:2231 1st Qu.:155.0 # Median :4.000 Median :428.0 Median :1656 Median :2928 Median :157.0 # Mean :3.809 Mean :428.0 Mean :1747 Mean :2588 Mean :160.3 # 3rd Qu.:5.000 3rd Qu.:540.5 3rd Qu.:1914 3rd Qu.:3082 3rd Qu.:165.0 # Max. :6.000 Max. :653.0 Max. :3778 Max. :6148 Max. :199.0 # NAs :9 # X Cf.H18 X.1 Cf.N5 X.2 # Min. :149 Min. : 83.0 Min. : 83.0 Min. :148.0 Min. :150 # 1st Qu.:161 1st Qu.: 99.0 1st Qu.:107.0 1st Qu.:165.0 1st Qu.:170 # Median :167 Median :105.0 Median :115.0 Median :170.0 Median :170 # Mean :172 Mean :104.5 Mean :112.8 Mean :167.7 Mean :170 # 3rd Qu.:181 3rd Qu.:111.0 3rd Qu.:119.0 3rd Qu.:170.0 3rd Qu.:170 # Max. :519 Max. :123.0 Max. :123.0 Max. :172.0 Max. :172 # NAs :9 NAs :1 NAs :1 NAs :36 NAs :36 # Cf.N10 X.3 Cf.O5 X.4 Min. :171.0 Min. :175.0 Min. :176.0 Min. :176.0 # 1st Qu.:187.0 1st Qu.:193.0 1st Qu.:178.0 1st Qu.:182.0 Median :189.0 Median :197.0 Median :182.0 Median :194.0 # Mean :189.4 Mean :196.3 Mean :182.5 Mean :190.3 3rd Qu.:193.0 3rd Qu.:201.0 3rd Qu.:182.0 3rd Qu.:196.0 # Max. :205.0 Max. :205.0 Max. :202.0 Max. :204.0 NAs :13 NAs :13 NAs :8 NAs :8