Scraping COVID19 Data Using Python

With various attempt to clamp down the effect of COVID19 on the world, various research works and innovative measures depends on insights gained from the right data. Most of the data required to aid innovations may not be available via Application Programming Interface (API) or file formats like ‘.csv’ waiting to be downloaded, but can only be accessed as part of a web page. All code snippet can be found here.

Web scraping is a term used to describe the use of a program or algorithm to extract and process large amounts of data from the web. Whether you are a data scientist, engineer, or anybody who analyzes large amounts of datasets, the ability to scrape data from the web is a useful skill to have.

Worldometers has a credible sources of COVID19 data around the world. In this article, we will learn how to scrape COVID19 data depicted below from a web page to a Dask dataframe from the site using python.

Why Dask dataframe?

Pandas have been one of the most popular and favorite data science tools used in Python programming language for data wrangling and analysis. Pandas have their own limitations when it comes to big data due to its algorithm and local memory constraints.

However, Dask is an open-source and freely available Python library. Dask provides ways to scale Pandas, Scikit-Learn, and Numpy in terms of performance and scalability. In the context of this article, the dataset is bound to be constantly increasing, making Dask the ideal tool to use.

Elements of a web page

Before we delve into web scraping proper, lets clear up the difference between a webpage and website. A web page can be considered as a single entity whereas a website is a combination of web pages. Web pages are accessed through a browser while in website HTTP, and DNS protocols are used to access it. The content in a website changes according to the web page while a web page contains more specific information.

There are Four(4) basic elements of a webpage, which are:

  1. Structure
  2. Function
  3. Content
  4. Aesthetics

The above-listed elements, fall into but not limited to these programmable component such as HTML— contain the main content of the page, CSS — add styling to make the page look nicer and lastly JS— JavaScript files add interactivity to web pages.

When we perform web scraping, we’re interested in extraction of information from the main content of the web page, which makes a good understanding of HTML important.

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Scraping COVID19 Data Using Python
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Ray Patel

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Your Data Architecture: Simple Best Practices for Your Data Strategy

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Arvel  Parker

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Basic Data Types in Python | Python Web Development For Beginners

At the end of 2019, Python is one of the fastest-growing programming languages. More than 10% of developers have opted for Python development.

In the programming world, Data types play an important role. Each Variable is stored in different data types and responsible for various functions. Python had two different objects, and They are mutable and immutable objects.

Table of Contents  hide

I Mutable objects

II Immutable objects

III Built-in data types in Python

Mutable objects

The Size and declared value and its sequence of the object can able to be modified called mutable objects.

Mutable Data Types are list, dict, set, byte array

Immutable objects

The Size and declared value and its sequence of the object can able to be modified.

Immutable data types are int, float, complex, String, tuples, bytes, and frozen sets.

id() and type() is used to know the Identity and data type of the object

a**=25+**85j

type**(a)**

output**:<class’complex’>**

b**={1:10,2:“Pinky”****}**

id**(b)**

output**:**238989244168

Built-in data types in Python

a**=str(“Hello python world”)****#str**

b**=int(18)****#int**

c**=float(20482.5)****#float**

d**=complex(5+85j)****#complex**

e**=list((“python”,“fast”,“growing”,“in”,2018))****#list**

f**=tuple((“python”,“easy”,“learning”))****#tuple**

g**=range(10)****#range**

h**=dict(name=“Vidu”,age=36)****#dict**

i**=set((“python”,“fast”,“growing”,“in”,2018))****#set**

j**=frozenset((“python”,“fast”,“growing”,“in”,2018))****#frozenset**

k**=bool(18)****#bool**

l**=bytes(8)****#bytes**

m**=bytearray(8)****#bytearray**

n**=memoryview(bytes(18))****#memoryview**

Numbers (int,Float,Complex)

Numbers are stored in numeric Types. when a number is assigned to a variable, Python creates Number objects.

#signed interger

age**=**18

print**(age)**

Output**:**18

Python supports 3 types of numeric data.

int (signed integers like 20, 2, 225, etc.)

float (float is used to store floating-point numbers like 9.8, 3.1444, 89.52, etc.)

complex (complex numbers like 8.94j, 4.0 + 7.3j, etc.)

A complex number contains an ordered pair, i.e., a + ib where a and b denote the real and imaginary parts respectively).

String

The string can be represented as the sequence of characters in the quotation marks. In python, to define strings we can use single, double, or triple quotes.

# String Handling

‘Hello Python’

#single (') Quoted String

“Hello Python”

# Double (") Quoted String

“”“Hello Python”“”

‘’‘Hello Python’‘’

# triple (‘’') (“”") Quoted String

In python, string handling is a straightforward task, and python provides various built-in functions and operators for representing strings.

The operator “+” is used to concatenate strings and “*” is used to repeat the string.

“Hello”+“python”

output**:****‘Hello python’**

"python "*****2

'Output : Python python ’

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Osiki  Douglas

Osiki Douglas

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How POST Requests with Python Make Web Scraping Easier

When scraping a website with Python, it’s common to use the

urllibor theRequestslibraries to sendGETrequests to the server in order to receive its information.

However, you’ll eventually need to send some information to the website yourself before receiving the data you want, maybe because it’s necessary to perform a log-in or to interact somehow with the page.

To execute such interactions, Selenium is a frequently used tool. However, it also comes with some downsides as it’s a bit slow and can also be quite unstable sometimes. The alternative is to send a

POSTrequest containing the information the website needs using the request library.

In fact, when compared to Requests, Selenium becomes a very slow approach since it does the entire work of actually opening your browser to navigate through the websites you’ll collect data from. Of course, depending on the problem, you’ll eventually need to use it, but for some other situations, a

POSTrequest may be your best option, which makes it an important tool for your web scraping toolbox.

In this article, we’ll see a brief introduction to the

POSTmethod and how it can be implemented to improve your web scraping routines.

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