Advantages of Scraping Data from Alternate Sources such as PDF, XML & JSON

PDF Documents

  • PDF files are exceedingly useful and efficient, providing a variety of advantages, including:
  • Usability and consistency across many platforms
  • The format is simple to read and understand.
  • The ability to store a variety of material, such as text, photos, and even scanned book documents.
  • Watermarks, autographs, and other critical material can be preserved in this protected layout.

Data Extraction from PDF Documents

Learn about How iWeb Scraping Handles PDF Data Extraction?

  • When we get a PDF scraping request, we first look at the document’s layout and level of complexity to determine how much data can be extracted.
  • We save the file in a text-friendly format, such as Word.
  • The document inserts a line break at the end of the paragraph when it is exported. While these new lines are not visible, they increase the scraper’s difficulties while parsing the page.
  • To overcome this, we use regular expressions (RegEx) to detect and eliminate every new line, leaving paragraph and section breaks alone.
  • We then extract data fields as needed, depending on the structure.
  • Some document formats (columns, for example) add to the difficulty. When you require data from one of the rows in the first column, we gather bits of that row from the other columns with several whitespace characters in between (like a tab — 4–5 characters).
  • In such circumstances, we divide the gathered text using whitespace as a separator and save the data as arrays. The array index is then used to map each individual string to its parent field.
  • Similarly, extracting information from a PDF that has a big list of items, such as goods, would necessitate more complicated and powerful web scrapers. To meet the increased memory requirements, more resources in terms of RAM and storage would be required.

Parsing Data from XML Sources

  • eXtensible Markup Language is the abbreviation for eXtensible Markup Language. It specifies a set of criteria that enable a document to be read by both humans and machines.
  • As seen in the graphic below, data is stored in XML files as element trees, with a root (or parent) element that branches into child elements. Following that, these components are retrieved based on the request.

Data Parsing in JSON Format



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