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How to parse data from websites using dcsoup

posted on 24th July 2018
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Nowadays, extracting information from static and JavaScript loading websites has become as simple as clicking the content you need from a site. Web scraping tools made of heuristic technologies have been put forward to help online marketers, bloggers, and webmasters extract semi-structured and unstructured data from the web.

Web content extraction

Also known as web scraping, web content extraction is a technique of extracting vast sets of data from websites. When it comes to the internet and online marketing, data is a crucial component to consider. Financial marketers and marketing consultants depend on data to track down the performance of commodities in the stock markets and to develop marketing strategies.

Dcsoup HTML parser

The Dcsoup is a high-quality .NET library used by bloggers and webmasters to scrape HTML data from web pages. This library offers a very convenient and reliable Application Programming Interface (API) to manipulate and extract data. Dcsoup is a Java HTML parser used to parse data from a website and displaying the data in readable formats.

This HTML parser uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), jQuery-based techniques, and Document Object Model (DOM) to scrape websites. Dcsoup is a free and easy-to-use library that delivers consistent and flexible web scraping results. This web scraping tool parses HTML to the same DOM as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome does.

How does Dcsoup library work?

Dcsoup was designed and developed to create a sensible parse tree for all HTML varieties. This Java library is the ultimate solution to scraping HTML data from both multiple and single sources. Install

Dcsoup on your PC and execute the following primary tasks:

Prevent XSS attacks by cleaning content against a consistent, flexible, and secure white-list.

Manipulate HTML text, attributes, and elements.

Identify, extract, and parse data from website using DOM traversal and well-managed CSS selectors.

Retrieve and parse HTML data in usable formats. You can export the scraped data to CouchDB. Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, or save the data to your local machine as a local file.

Scrape and parse both XML and HTML data from a file, string, or a file.

Using Chrome browser to obtain XPaths

Web scraping is an error handling technique used to scrape HTML data and parse data from websites. You can use your web browser to retrieve the XPath of the target element on a webpage. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain XPath of an element using your browser. However, note that you have to use error handling techniques as web data extraction can cause errors if the original formatting of the page changes.

Open the "Developer Tools" on your Windows and select the specific element you want the XPath for.

Right-click on the element in the "Elements Tab" option.

Click on "Copy" option to obtain the XPath of your target element.

Web scraping allows you to parse HTML and XML documents. Web scrapers have been using well-developed scraping software to create a parse tree for parsed pages that can be used to extract relevant information from HTML. Note that scraped data from the web can be exported to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, CouchDB, or saved to a local file.

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