Websites are written using HTML, which means that each web page is a structured document. Sometimes it would be great to obtain some data from them and preserve the structure while we’re at it. Web sites don’t always provide their data in comfortable formats such as csv or json.
When people look at the web and see data, it's just a web page. But data is just there. It's just trapped inside the HTML of the page. This data is valuable. If you can release it, the impact will be huge. It will help you make better decision for work, ensure you have more useful information for government, organization and even make you got home safely after a good night-out. What if there is a tools that enable any body to go to a website and turn the content into an API and you don’t have to be a developer to do it.
Currently this data is not available for everyone. The majority of sites do not have an public and available API, which increases its complexity. This is where web scraping comes in. Web scraping is the practice of using a computer program to sift through a web page and gather the data that you need in a format most useful to you while at the same time preserving the structure of the data.Perhaps you’re a recruitment consultant, or maybe you just wanna keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Web scrapers are a useful tool for gathering information and putting it into usable form. The contents of a given URL can be placed which allows you to extract large amounts of data, run multiple scrapings at once, and even run them on a set schedule!
And imagine it, you can turn any websites into a table of data or an API in a matter of minute without writing code. Now you can get access to API we create. The commonality of those who use web scrapers to extract text from HTML is that they all want data from the web. And now data on the web will be easily accessible to everyone!
Author: The Octoparse Team
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