The Python Podcast.__init__

The Python Podcast.__init__

The podcast about Python and the people who make it great

01 September 2020

When, Why, and How To Use Web Scraping In A Nutshell - E278

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The internet is a rich source of information, but a majority of it isn’t accessible programmatically through APIs or databases. To address that shortcoming there are a variety of web scraping frameworks that aid in extracting structured data from web pages. In this episode Attila Tóth shares the challenges of web data extraction, the ways that you can use it, and how Scrapy and ScrapingHub can help you with your projects.


  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Attila Tóth about doing data extraction with web scraping.


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what web scraping is and when you might want to use it?
    • How did you first get started with web scraping?
  • There are a number of options for web scraping tools in Python, as well as other languages. What are the characteristics of the Scrapy project and community that have made it stand out and retain such widespread popularity?
  • One of the perpetual questions with web scraping is that of copyright and content ownership. What should we all be aware of when scraping a given website?
  • What are some of the most challenging aspects of crawling and scraping the web?
    • What are some of the features of Scrapy that aid in those challenges?
  • Once you have retrieved the content from a site, what are some of the considerations for storing and processing the data that we should be thinking about?
  • How can we guard against a scraper breaking due to changes in the layout of a site, or simple updates that weren’t accounted for in the initial implementation?
  • What are some of the most complicated aspects of scaling web scrapers?
  • For someone who is interested in using Scrapy, what are some of the common pitfalls that they should be aware of?
  • What are some of the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected projects that are built with Scrapy and ScrapingHub?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working with web scrapers and ScrapingHub?
  • What resources would you recommend to anyone who is looking to learn more about web scraping?

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Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, the Data Engineering Podcast for the latest on modern data management.
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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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