An introduction to web harvesting
Web harvesting—also known as web scraping or web data extraction—is the process of collecting and organizing data from a web page. This data can take the form of text, images, or downloaded files. Whatever you're gathering, the main goal of web scraping is to automate data collection projects that would otherwise require hundreds or even thousands of work-hours to complete.
There are two general approaches to web harvesting:
- Enlist a developer to build a custom web scraping program for your project.
- Use specialized web scraping software to collect the data.
Mozenda provides a happy medium between these two approaches. Mozenda's intuitive browser-based interface allows almost anyone to learn the basics of web scraping. Users with technical know-how can also inject custom code to customize scripts, parse incoming data, and manage complex projects via our robust API.
There are multiple benefits to this approach:
- Mozenda loads and navigates pages just like anyone using a browser - if you can surf the web, you can harvest data.
- Mozenda can simulate the behavior of human users—it can navigate complex and dynamic webpages, sign in to sites, and even fill out forms.
- Mozenda can handle projects at scale. Once you've configured a project, Mozenda replicates tasks across multiple pages and categories to quickly and efficiently collect the data you need.