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Tag: open source

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

It got very easy to do Machine Learning: you install a ML library like scikit-learn or xgboost, choose an estimator, feed it some training data, and get a model which can be used for predictions. Ok, but what’s next? How would you know if it works well? Cross-validation! Good! How would you know that you haven’t messed up the cross validation? Are there data leaks? If the quality is not good enough, how to improve it? Are there data preprocessing…

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Incremental Crawls with Scrapy and DeltaFetch

Incremental Crawls with Scrapy and DeltaFetch

Welcome to Scrapy Tips from the Pros! In this monthly column, we share a few tricks and hacks to help speed up your web scraping activities. As the lead Scrapy maintainers, we’ve run into every obstacle you can imagine so don’t worry, you’re in great hands. Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook with any suggestions for future topics. Scrapy is designed to be extensible and loosely coupled with its components. You can easily extend Scrapy’s functionality…

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Improving Access to Peruvian Congress Bills with Scrapy

Improving Access to Peruvian Congress Bills with Scrapy

Many governments worldwide have laws enforcing them to publish their expenses, contracts, decisions, and so forth, on the web. This is so the general public can monitor what their representatives are doing on their behalf. However, government data is usually only available in a hard-to-digest format. In this post, we’ll show how you can use web scraping to overcome this and make government data more actionable. Congress Bills in Peru For the sake of transparency, Peruvian Congress provides a website…

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Portia: The Open Source Alternative to Kimono Labs

Portia: The Open Source Alternative to Kimono Labs

Attention Kimono users: we’ve created an exporter so you can easily convert your projects from Kimono to Portia! Imagine your business depended heavily on a third party tool and one day that company decided to shut down its service with only 2 weeks notice. That, unfortunately, is what happened to users of Kimono Labs yesterday. And it’s one of the many reasons why we love open source so much. Portia is an open source visual scraping tool developed by Scrapinghub…

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Skinfer: A Tool for Inferring JSON Schemas

Skinfer: A Tool for Inferring JSON Schemas

Imagine that you have a lot of samples for a certain kind of data in JSON format. Maybe you want to have a better feel of it, know which fields appear in all records, which appear only in some and what are their types. In other words, you want to know the schema for the data that you have. We’d like to present you skinfer, a tool that we built for inferring the schema from samples in JSON format. Skinfer…

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Scrapinghub Crawls the Deep Web

Scrapinghub Crawls the Deep Web

“The easiest way to think about Memex is: How can I make the unseen seen?” — Dan Kaufman, director of the innovation office at DARPA Scrapinghub is participating in Memex, an ambitious DARPA project that tackles the huge challenge of crawling, indexing, and making sense of areas of the Deep Web, that is, web content not being indexed by traditional search engines such as Google, Bing and others. This content, according to current estimations, dwarfs Google’s total indexed content by…

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Optimizing Memory Usage of Scikit-Learn Models Using Succinct Tries

Optimizing Memory Usage of Scikit-Learn Models Using Succinct Tries

We use the scikit-learn library for various machine-learning tasks at Scrapinghub. For example, for text classification we’d typically build a statistical model using sklearn’s Pipeline, FeatureUnion, some classifier (e.g. LinearSVC) + feature extraction and preprocessing classes. The model is usually trained on a developers machine, then serialized (using pickle/joblib) and uploaded to a server where the classification takes place. Sometimes there can be too little available memory on the server for the classifier. One way to address this is to…

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Autoscraping casts a wider net

Autoscraping casts a wider net

We have recently started letting more users into the private beta for our Autoscraping service. We’re receiving a lot of applications following the shutdown of Needlebase and we’re increasing our capacity to accommodate these users. Natalia made a screencast to help our new users get started: It’s also a great introduction to what this service can do. We released slybot as an open source integration of the scrapely extraction library and the scrapy framework. This is the core technology behind the…

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