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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Sarah Marshall at journalism.co.uk:

A tool which helps non-coding journalists scrape data from websites has launched in public beta today.

Import.io lets you extract data from any website into a spreadsheet simply by mousing over a few rows of information.

Until now import.io, which we reported on back in April, has been available in private developer preview and has been Windows only. It is now also available for Mac and is open to all.

Although import.io plans to charge for some services at a later date, there will always be a free option.

The London-based start-up is trying to solve the problem of the fact that there is “lots of data on the web, but it’s difficult to get at”, Andrew Fogg, founder of import.io, said in a webinar last week.

Those with the know-how can write a scraper or use an API to get at data, Fogg said. “But imagine if you could turn any website into a spreadsheet or API.”

If learning the basics (and the not-so-basics) of scraping is of interest to you, I can recommend Paul Bradshaw’s Scraping for Journalists.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
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