Cool looking gauges for park

Hi all!

I work at a park and in our visitor center and lighthouse museum there are boards that contain information for visitors like the temperature, water temperature, temperature at the top of a lighthouse, Tide and such.

I was looking upgrade the inefficient dry erase marker boards with newer more futuristic displays that would update themselves automatically. Temperature information is easy to gather from temperature sensors, I have never done that before with the arduino but I have read on how to do it and it seems easy enough. The problem I have is gathering water temperature readings which are available on the internet from a buoy out at sea (Running a cable to the water is not possible). What are some of the ways that I can try to read information off of a webpage and have that sent to an arduino to move a dial on a analog thermometer?

Also Because the buildings where these displays are to be setup are from 1888 and 1893 I was thinking instead of a modern looking LED or LCD display to have a analog dial like a clock, barometer or pressure gauge and have it driven by a stepper or servo motor.

A servo would probably be easier, and require less I/O making it cheaper to do multiple gages.

Can you work with any programming on a PC? Get the data from a web page and send it serial to an Arduino functioning as a "display" controller.

I am thinking something like Visual BASIC or Visula C or maybe even Processing (little to none experience level with Processing...)

I have a mate who's built a flight simulator that you sit in, with "real" gauges. He drive the gauges with servos IIRC but had to do a lot of mech engineering to get the mechanisms right.

Another way is to use PWM to drive a volt meter where you have redone the face with values as appropriate.


Rob

The_Unreasonable_Man:
What are some of the ways that I can try to read information off of a webpage and have that sent to an arduino to move a dial on a analog thermometer?

If you have an available host computer that can communicate with the Arduino via the USB connection you should check the Interfacing with Software page for an example using your preferred language. If not you would need to use an ethernet shield of some type.