Saturday, March 13, 2010

Screen Scraping for Web Content Extraction

The Internet is one of the largest sources of information. That information is found in the images, text and feeds that are associated with the web site. The problem with a typical web page is that valuable information is displayed in human readable format and it is difficult to process automatically. All the colors, layout, and images are extraneous information that the computer would have to filter through to find and collect the information that it is important. Screen scraping is a way for all that information to be consolidated and processed in a fast and effective manner.

Web pages today display the content and the information to the user through what is known as Hyper Text Markup Language. This complex and often confusing code provides the typical internet browser with information that is important to how the page is displayed to the human readers on the screen. All of this formatting code is not of value to an automated data processor and for business. This is where screen scraping comes in.

The vast number of sites presents a challenge for those trying to collect information. Traditionally this task would require hours of sitting in front of the computer, loading each page onto the screen and performing manual research. While this is often the most detailed and accurate method of online research it is time consuming.

Screen scraping is performed by an automated system of programs that loads the code of a web page and filters through the content, looking for the desired information. Most of the code that is found on the web page is structural or graphical and does not have any real value. Images, font, and color are all parts of this structural code. Found within this are small pieces of key information. This information is taken by the program and stored for analysis and report generation. By automatically filtering through the code required to display a web page, key facts and figures can be lifted and processed in a timely manner.

With such a complex and sensitive task as screen scraping in high demand, it is no surprise that there are several highly rated and professional companies that provide this valuable service. The applications of screen scraping are endless. Corporations, private companies, and individuals can use these services to perform market research or gain precious information on current trends and events. Economic information can be gathered using a screen scraping service from sites that continuously update there site with stock up dates or interest rates. The current weather forecast can be found automatically using screen scraping. Strategic information about market competition can be taken from the internet. The value and information that this service provides is key to businesses and individuals alike.

Mozenda is a company that can provide the valuable services of screen scraping and web data processing. By using advanced programs any web page can be captured and the text and images saved for future use or analysis. Images can be automatically downloaded from the internet. Valuable data can be stored in XML or RSS formats using Mozenda's services. In addition to the information collection process, Mozenda offers market research and intelligence. For companies needing information bu are unable to sift through the countless websites one by one, the services offered by Mozenda can get help companies get the valuable information fast and get back to what they do best.

Kapow Technologies is another group providing companies with screen scraping and data analysis services. By removing the unnecessary code from the web page, the information can be taken and saved for future use. By utilizing advanced logic, the extraneous data is removed leaving on the key parts that corporations, businesses, and individuals need.

Information moves at the speed of light and screen scraping is a way for that information to be gathered in a precise and automatic way. Using the professional services that provide screen scraping is a tool that keeps up with the pace of information and organizes that information into a format that is quickly analyzed and processed.

Screen Scraping

1 comment:

  1. Thank for sharing the blog. One of my friend suggested web crawling service tool (Mobito) is the best tools to do crawl and scraping. I am just sharing the link to take a look on it -