Automated Data Collection with R: A Practical Guide to Web by Simon Munzert

By Simon Munzert

A fingers on advisor to internet scraping and textual content mining for either newbies and skilled clients of R

  • Introduces basic suggestions of the most structure of the net and databases and covers HTTP, HTML, XML, JSON, SQL.
  • Provides uncomplicated ideas to question internet records and information units (XPath and common expressions).
  • An wide set of routines are presented to advisor the reader via every one technique.
  • Explores either supervised and unsupervised concepts in addition to complex options equivalent to information scraping and textual content management.
  • Case experiences are featured all through in addition to examples for every process presented.
  • R code and solutions to routines featured in the e-book are supplied on a helping website.

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Extra resources for Automated Data Collection with R: A Practical Guide to Web Scraping and Text Mining

Sample text

Part I: A primer on web and data technologies In the first part, we introduce the fundamental technologies that underlie the communication, exchange, storage, and display of information on the World Wide Web (HTTP, HTML, XML, JSON, AJAX, SQL), and provide basic techniques to query web documents and datasets (XPath and regular expressions). These fundamentals are especially useful for readers who are unfamiliar with the architecture of the Web, but can also serve as a refresher if you have some prior knowledge.

Tags are always enclosed by < and > to distinguish them from the content. Start and end tags carry the same name, but the end tag is preceded by a slash /. When referring to an element, it is common to leave out the angle brackets and just use the name within the tags, as in body tag, title tag and so on. We sometimes find that elements and tags are actually used synonymously. Throughout the book, we will refer to the start tag—for example, —to address the entire element. Although it is recommended that each element has a start and an end tag, this is not common practice for all types of elements.

The main reason why data are preferably distributed in the XML or JSON formats is that both are compatible with many programming languages and software, including R. As data providers cannot know the software that is being used to postprocess the information, it is preferable for all parties involved to distribute the data in formats with universally accepted standards. The logic of JSON is introduced in the second part of Chapter 3. AJAX is a group of technologies that is now firmly integrated into the toolkit of modern web developing.

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