Data scraping: Using Google Docs to grab table data


Sometimes I like to point out that there are tools around that will let you accomplish tasks you’d normally have to script. Interestingly enough, Google Docs comes with a set of functionsimportHTML, importData, importXML and importFeed — that will allow you to grab data on the Web and put it into your spreadsheet.

The blog has a good post on how you can use importHtml to pull in a table from Wikipedia. It even goes so far as to pump the resulting spreadsheet into Yahoo! Pipes to map the data. If you don’t know what Yahoo Pipes! is, it’s basically another service that allows you to manipulate data without writing code. I’ll be sure to cover it in a blog post coming soon.

In any case, being able to scrape text using Google Docs is a great way to get moving quickly on data-based projects.

Has anyone done a project using this method? I’m working on one right now at the Alligator. I’ll update this post when I get it up and running.


One Response to “Data scraping: Using Google Docs to grab table data”

  1. 1 Yahoo! Pipes: More scripting without code « Everyday Scripting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: