What is Web Scraping?
Web Scraping, also known as web harvesting or web data extraction, is the process of automatically collecting information from websites by extracting data from HTML, XML, or other structured web documents. Web scraping can be used for a variety of purposes, including market research, price monitoring, content aggregation, and data analysis.
What does Web Scraping do?
Web Scraping performs the following tasks:
- Retrieval: Web Scraping retrieves web pages from the internet using HTTP or other network protocols.
- Parsing: Web Scraping parses the HTML or XML documents to extract the relevant information, such as text, images, or links.
- Data extraction: Web Scraping extracts the data from the parsed documents and saves it in a structured format, such as CSV or JSON.
- Storage: Web Scraping stores the extracted data in a database or file system for later use.
Some benefits of using Web Scraping
Web Scraping offers several benefits for collecting and analyzing data from websites:
- Automation: Web Scraping allows for the automation of data collection tasks, saving time and resources compared to manual data collection.
- Scalability: Web Scraping can be scaled to collect data from large numbers of websites or web pages, providing a broad and diverse dataset for analysis.
- Customization: Web Scraping can be customized to collect specific data fields or types of information, enabling targeted data collection and analysis.
- Competitive intelligence: Web Scraping can be used to monitor competitors' websites, product offerings, and pricing strategies, providing valuable insights for market research and strategy development.
More resources to learn more about Web Scraping
To learn more about Web Scraping and its applications, you can explore the following resources:
- Web Scraping with Python, a book on using Python for web scraping
- Beautiful Soup, a Python library for web scraping that simplifies parsing and data extraction from HTML and XML documents
- Scrapy, a Python framework for web scraping that allows for more complex data extraction workflows
- Web Scraping 101, a tutorial that provides an introduction to web scraping and its principles
- Saturn Cloud, a cloud-based platform for machine learning and data science workflows that can support the development and deployment of web scraping scripts with parallel and distributed computing