Web scraping is the smartest way to automate a variety of tasks where interaction with web pages is required. Web crawling can be used to extract the required information from any website online although some dynamically loaded pages would require complicated programming. If you are in need of data from ticket and event sites, web crawling is the way to go.
How Web Crawling works
Web crawling and scraping is all about programming computers to visit websites and save the information you need from them to a file. Although the concept is simple, the underlying process is very complicated and requires technical personnel for programming the crawler.
The process begins with defining the websites to be crawled. A list of websites where the data you need is present has to be made and checked for the feasibility of crawl. The feasibility check is done to make sure there aren’t any obstacles to crawling like blocking bots via robots.txt or a TOS page that states disagreement to scraping. If everything looks good, the source websites are analysed to find the tags that hold the required data points and crawlers are programmed to visit the sites and fetch them automatically in a given interval of time. This interval is the crawling frequency and can be defined depending upon the requirement. For ticket and event sites, the optimum crawling frequency is daily. Once the crawlers start working, the data gets added to a dump file which then has to be processed for removing the noise and structuring the data. After this, clean data can be obtained.
Crawling ticket and event sites
Ticket and event sites like Bookmyshow, Ticketmaster, Fandango, Eventfull, Ticketsnow, Seatgeek etc have fresh information about all the events happening on a given date in the given city. Events like concerts, games, movies and plays make up most of the data you could be acquiring from these sites. The data can be used for a variety of purposes. If you are running a content aggregator site, this data can be plugged into your database to make your site rich with content. Price comparison is another great use case with crawling ticket sites. If you are looking to acquire data for research purposes, web crawling can serve it too.
The only downside to crawling ticket sites is the complexity of the crawler setup. With fast changing prices and a lot of dynamic content on the pages, ticket sites are not easy to crawl. Hence, it is better to depend on an experienced web scraping service provider instead of attempting to deal with the complicated web crawling process yourself.