Documentation

Scraping a site

Open the site that you want to scrape.

Create Sitemap

The first thing you need to do when creating a sitemap is specifying the start url. This is the url from which the scraping will start. You can also specify multiple start urls if the scraping should start from multiple places. For example if you want to scrape multiple search results then you could create a separate start url for each search result. Additional URL input fields can be added by pressing + next to the URL input. Once the sitemap is created, start URL tab can be found by selecting Edit metadata in Sitemap sitemap_name dropdown.

Fig. 1: Import start URLs

Specify multiple urls with ranges

In cases where a site uses numbering in pages URLs it is much simpler to create a range start url than creating Link selectors that would navigate the site. To specify a range url replace the numeric part of start url with a range definition - [1-100]. If the site uses zero padding in urls then add zero padding to the range definition - [001-100]. If you want to skip some urls then you can also specify incremental like this [0-100:10].

Use range url like this http://example.com/page/[1-3] for links like these:

  • http://example.com/page/1
  • http://example.com/page/2
  • http://example.com/page/3

Use range url with zero padding like this http://example.com/page/[001-100] for links like these:

  • http://example.com/page/001
  • http://example.com/page/002
  • http://example.com/page/003

Use range url with increment like this http://example.com/page/[0-100:10] for links like these:

  • http://example.com/page/0
  • http://example.com/page/10
  • http://example.com/page/20

Create selectors

After you have created a sitemap you can begin to add, modify, and navigate selectors in the Selectors panel.

The selectors are added in a tree type structure. The web scraper will execute the selectors in the order how they are organized in the tree structure. For example there is a news site and you want to scrape all article links which are available on the first page. In image 1 you can see this example site.

Fig. 2: News site

To scrape this site you can create a Link selector which will extract all article links in the first page. Then as a child selector you can add a Text selector that will extract articles from the article pages that the Link selector found links to. Image below illustrates how the sitemap should be built for the news site.

Fig. 3: News site sitemap

Note that when creating selectors, Element preview and Data preview features ensure that you have selected the correct elements with the correct data.

More information about selector tree building is available in selector documentation. You should at least read about these core selectors:

Inspect selector tree

After you have created selectors for the sitemap you can inspect the tree structure of selectors in the Selector graph panel. Image below shows an example selector graph.

Fig. 4: News site selector graph

Scrape the site

After you have created selectors for the sitemap you can start scraping. Open Scrape panel and start scraping. Optionally, you can change request interval and page load delay. A new popup window will open in which the scraper will load pages and extract data from them. After the scraping is done the popup window will close and you will be notified with a popup message. You can view the scraped data by opening Browse panel and export it by opening the Export data as CSV panel.

Fig. 5: Start scraping

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