Web scraping

So what is web scraping?

Web scraping can also be called web harvesting or web data extraction and is the technique of extracting and gathering information from websites.  Web scraping is related to web indexing which indexes information on the web using a bot (think search engine). The difference is that web scraping is more focused on gathering unstructured data from different sources into a structured format that can be used and stored in for example a database or spreadsheet. Common services that use web scraping is price-comparison websites or different types of mashup sites.

Different techniques?

The most basic technique for gathering data from different sources is human copy-paste. However the goal with Bitrake is to make these processes automatic to the very last detail.  Other techniques include DOM parsing, HTML parses or vertical aggregation platforms.

Is web scraping legal?

From Wikipedia: “ Web scraping may be against the terms of use of some websites. The enforceability of these terms is unclear. While outright duplication of original expression will in many cases be illegal, in the United States the courts ruled in Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service that duplication of facts is allowable. U.S. courts have acknowledged that users of “scrapers” or “robots” may be held liable for committing trespass to chattels, which involves a computer system itself being considered personal property upon which the user of a scraper is trespassing.”

Read more about web scraping

Wikipedia about web scraping

Web scraping at Webopedia