This is a testing site only. See the live Public Lab site here »

Public Lab Wiki documentation

Spectral Workbench

5 | 40 | | #534

What is Spectral Workbench? is a web based application to collect, archive, share, and analyze spectral data, for Public Lab DIY spectrometers and other spectrometers.

With it, you can:

  • connect your USB Desktop Spectrometry Kit
  • scan and save samples
  • wavelength calibrate your spectrometer
  • plot light intensity as a function of wavelength (average digital consumer cameras have a range of 400 to 700 nm)
  • create sets of multiple spectra to visually compare and analyze scans
  • download CSV data for offline analysis
  • view others' data and discuss
  • find similar data in a database of over 60k spectra

No download is required -- just a web connection. The Chrome browser works best, but most standard-compliant browsers are supported. It is possible to use from an Android smartphone, preferably with the Firefox browser which allows you to specify which camera to look through.


Intro video


Spectral Workbench should work on Chrome (in Windows/Mac/Linux/Android, but not iOS), Firefox (Windows/Mac/Linux/Android), or Opera (Android). It may work on other browsers and we are working on expanding coverage; read more on this page:


Do you code? The codebase of Spectral Workbench is available at The server is written in Ruby on Rails, with a lot of client side code in JavaScript. You can read about the JavaScript API here.

We really need more developers, so if you are interested, please get involved! A great place to start is the "plots-dev" mailing list for software developers:


We're collecting and working our way through a range of questions about Spectral Workbench -- if you can contribute your own questions, or answer others', please do!

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
copying calibration issue @kog62290 over 3 years ago 0
Spectral Workbench so slow on raspberry pi zero @danieisnietgek almost 4 years ago 3
How do I select the back camera of the smartphone? @renatoianhez about 4 years ago 0
Sorry for asking such a elementary question, what does the intensity % means? Can it shows how strong the light source is? Is it in terms of lux? @willieong about 4 years ago 1
Can you calibrate this? @jela0194 over 4 years ago 0
Is copy calibration on Spectral Workbench working? @microfibers over 4 years ago 1
How do I get the webcam feed on Spectral Workbench? @KenSuke over 4 years ago 1
How do I search for the spectra recorded by a specific user? @nnn16 over 4 years ago 4
Can detect the camara,but can't show image @JHYeh over 4 years ago 1
Spectral Workbench 1.0 seems much more stable than 2.0 and works well for the basic analysis I am trying to do, can I get access to 1.0 without being pushed to 2.0? @B-winters almost 5 years ago 1
Instruction videos don't work! @aemilius89 almost 5 years ago 4
changing default webcam @julietalemus almost 5 years ago 2
How can I connect my gopro to SpectralWorkbench software? Is there other open software that would? @CD3000 almost 5 years ago 3
Only seeing part of color spectrum @msolomon almost 5 years ago 4
copying calibration issue @ceberndsen about 5 years ago 0
Standalone Spectrometry software & uploading JPG or PNG spectra @lach_myers about 5 years ago 5
My uploaded file will not process. @JadaBada about 5 years ago 2
How can I get the absorption spectra once I have calibrated my spectrometer data? @amenzel8 about 5 years ago 1
Why do raw RGB values differ from calibrated RGB values? I thought calibration just set pixels to wavelength (nm)? @troyb about 5 years ago 17
Bug : Impossible to calibrate this mercury vapour spectrum @SarahC over 5 years ago 2
Bug? My Spectrum loads then vanishes. @SarahC over 5 years ago 2
Amazon UK - Link for perfect CFL? All mine are wide spectrum phosphor! @SarahC over 5 years ago 5
Has anyone experienced difficulty to log in this site? I having the trouble since yesterday. Not just log in, but to save spectrum too (sometimes can log in but take a long loading). sorry for my bad english. @silvi_ap51 over 5 years ago 9
The spectrum gets vertical no matter how I upload the picture. @wangdydu over 5 years ago 8


If you feel you've encountered a bug with the software -- very possible! Please look through existing issues listed here, file a new one if you don't see something similar, and help to add any observations to existing issues shown here.

Thanks for helping improve this open source software!

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Nothing yet on the topic "spectral-workbench-issues" -- be the first to post something!