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Robin Good's insight:
TheWebMiner is an experimental web-based scraping tool capable of rapidly capturing any amount of structured data from any web page (for example a Google search result page). Once captured the data can be saved in SQL, CSV, XML, JSON and Excel file formats.
The service is free until January 5 2013.
Pricing thereafter: http://thewebminer.com/priceing
Read more about it: http://extract-web-data.com/thewebminer-a-cloud-scraping-tool/
Try it out now here: http://thewebminer.com/demo (watch the video first)
Robin Good: Here's a new book for journalists interested in learning how to capture information from any web page or resource online, even when who is publishing it has not made that content available for everyone.
The subtitle of the book is: "How to grab data from hundreds of sources, put it in a form you can interrogate - and still hit deadlines"
From the official book site: "Scraping - getting a computer to capture information from online sources - is one of the most powerful techniques for data-savvy journalists who want to get to the story first, or find exclusives that no one else has spotted.
Faster than FOI and more detailed than advanced search techniques, scraping also allows you to grab data that organisations would rather you didn’t have - and put it into a form that allows you to get answers.
Scraping for Journalists introduces you to a range of scraping techniques - from very simple scraping techniques which are no more complicated than a spreadsheet formula, to more complex challenges such as scraping databases or hundreds of documents.
At every stage you'll see results - but you'll also be building towards more ambitious and powerful tools."
Paul Bradshaw runs the MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University, and is a Visiting Professor at City University’s School of Journalism in London. He publishes the Online Journalism Blog, and is the founder of investigative journalism website HelpMeInvestigate.
Buy the book or find out more: https://leanpub.com/scrapingforjournalists