Scraping Tool for Updating Political Database in the UK

In this meeting, George is seeking help from Ray with adding an extra feature to his database search tool. George has been working on searching the database for terrorism and watch list information and wants to now add a feature to search for persons of a certain political position in the UK. He has built a basic database by copying and pasting and wants to use a scraping tool to update it with information from reliable sources.

George is using a tool called Scraper Owl and has been able to scrape the entire page but is struggling with specifying the specific data he wants to extract from the page. Ray suggests using XPath or CSS selectors to target the specific elements on the page. They go on to discuss the structure of the page and how to identify the elements they want to scrape. Ray demonstrates how to use Chrome's inspector tool to analyze the page and find the desired elements. He also explains the difference between semantic and utility classes in CSS and how they can be used to target specific elements. They then test the scraping functionality using jQuery and console.log to extract the desired text from the elements. They refine the process by using XPath and CSS selectors to target the specific element they want to scrape. Ray also mentions that there are built-in tools in Chrome that allow you to copy the XPath or CSS selector of an element, which can simplify the process of targeting the element for scraping. In the end, George successfully identifies the class he needs to scrape the names from the page and generates a formatted API call to scrape the data. He plans to use Xano to retrieve and store the scraped data in his database. Overall, this meeting provides valuable insights into web scraping techniques using XPath and CSS selectors and demonstrates how to use Chrome's inspector tool to identify elements for scraping.

(Source: Office Hours 9/6 )

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