At this point in the history, information on the web doesn’t yet exist everywhere in the way you can easily extract and reuse it (boo!)
Our latest democracy strengthening tool, Morph helps you get information out from the clutches of websites into beautiful reusable forms for you to use however you like using web scrapers. (yay!)
Web scrapers are programs to extract structured data from web pages, invisibly powering many familiar websites. In fact, OpenAustralia Foundation projects OpenAustralia, ElectionLeaflets RightToKnow, and They Vote For You all depend in one way or another on scrapers. That way we haven’t needed to rely on being handed data the way we want it. We just grab what we need, when we need it. That’s how civic hacking mostly works around the world.
However, scrapers are dumb. They are completely dependent on the page layout of a web page remaining consistent. So when a website that is being scraped changes, then that scraper also has to be adjusted for it to continue to get the information you need.
To make it easier to maintain scrapers we need an simple way to find out when things need adjusting, and we need easy tools for multiple people to help fix things. That’s where our spanky new scraping platform Morph comes in. At Morph.io you’ll find a platform for scrapers with collaboration at the core. Only two months after launch, it’s already serving 650 scrapers for 500 registered users from organisations in Australia and around the world for free.
What people have said about Morph