Get an R Data Frame from a MongoDB Query

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There’s a good FAQ on how to do the MongoDB query -> R data frame but I wanted to post a more complete example that included the database connection and query setup since I suspect there are folks new to Mongo who would appreciate the end-to-end view. The code is fully annotated with comments, and I’ll caveat that this was for pulling data from my solar radiation sensor (it provides some context for the query and values).

library(chron) # NOTE: you don't need this for Mongo; it's for the sensor readings plot
# connect to mongodb server on host and connect to db
mongo = mongo.create(host="MONGODB_HOST",db="DATABASE_NAME")
if ( {
  # this sets up the query (there are other "buffer.append…" functions
  today = format(Sys.time(), "%Y-%m-%d")
  buf = mongo.bson.buffer.create()
  query = mongo.bson.from.buffer(buf)
  # run the query and get total results & the starting db cursor  
  todays.readings.count = mongo.count(mongo,"solar.readings",query)
  todays.readings.cursor = mongo.find(mongo,"solar.readings",query)
  # setup some vectors to hold our results  
  time = vector("character",todays.readings.count)
  lux = vector("numeric",todays.readings.count)
  full = vector("numeric",todays.readings.count)
  IR = vector("numeric",todays.readings.count)
  i = 1
  # iterate over the results with the cursor    
  while ( {
    # get the values of the current record
    cval = mongo.cursor.value(todays.readings.cursor)
    # split it out into our vectors    
    time[i] = mongo.bson.value(cval,"time")
    full[i] = mongo.bson.value(cval,"Full")
    lux[i] = mongo.bson.value(cval,"Lux")
    IR[i] = mongo.bson.value(cval,"IR")
    i = i + 1
  # packages all our values up into a data frame  
  df =,full=full,lux=lux,IR=IR))
  # (for my wx data, I need 'time' as an actual time value)  
  df$Time = times(df$time)
  df$time = NULL
  plot(df$full~df$Time,type="l",col="blue",lwd="1",xlab="",ylab="Full Spectrum",main=paste(today," Solar Radiation Readings"))
  plot(df$lux~df$Time,type="l",col="blue",lwd="1",xlab="",ylab="Lux (calculated)")

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