Web Scraping is a process of extracting data from the internet, and using it in different forms to create data interpretations. This data is extracted in large quantities and stored locally to visualize and analyze it later. All of this is carried out using a scraper, which is just a piece of code.
This process is also sometimes called web harvesting, or screen scraping. What all can you extract using a web scraper?
- Product Items
- Contact Information
- Text, and so on.
How it works?
As I said above, a piece of code is used to get the desired information from the web. It sends the “GET” query to the website from where the data needs to be extracted. And later, when it receives the HTML document from that website, it parses it. After the parsing is completed, the web scraper searches for the data within that HTML document, which you needed in the first place.
After all of this, the data is converted into the format you specified earlier, making it ready for your usage.
Why web scraper is needed?
When you need the information from the web, you need a web scraper. But why? Without a scraper, you can also obtain the information, right? NO!
The data that is present on the different websites can only be viewed when you are using a web browser. You cannot download or save that data into your local drive, unless you take a screenshot. (But then again, screenshot is not something you would use to analyze large data).
So, the only option remains with you is to manually copy paste each and every item you need, which is of course a very tedious task. Is all this really worth your time?
When you use a web scraper, this process is automated. As described above, just a single piece of code can get you the needed information quickly from any website you specify. Not only your time is saved, but you also get the accurate information without the scope of errors.