Scraping Political Data Workshop

Meet Paolo Cirio, subversive media artist. Investigated by the Department of National Defense of Canada and an unnamed body of the government of the USA for DDOS attacks on NATO's website at the age of 22.  Part of the LEGEND-....wait for it...-ARY net-art collective Epidemic (the source of viruses and P2P software that you are not cool enough to know about).  Italian.  Badass.


This one-day workshop will introduce the basic philosophy behind transparency activism and how to apply it practically through the use of smart hacks over web platforms. It will reveal smart ways to access data that is considered public but held hostage by its containers. The practical session of the workshop will introduce some simple software, coding, techniques and tricks to extract data from websites with almost no coding at all (no previous coding experience is required to attend this workshop)!


Access and fair use of Open Data is becoming pivotal for accelerating the development of our society. Although many governmental and private institutions have recently started to provide their rich data to the public, there is still a long way to go in order to reach the level of true transparency. For example, the unsolved legal case of WikiLeaks made a historical point about the political power of information when it was opened up and fairly distributed thanks to information technology.


Part of the workshop will use Air Quality Egg as a framework for discussion and examples of how to implement these techniques.  We will be scraping air quality data into COSM!


Participants should bring a laptop.

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  • Daniel Shemie

    Great mix of people. Hope this is the first of many. Maybe next time, we can brake up into small groups.

    August 17, 2012

  • Jonathan Dahan­ << some basic tries with , I will push the phantomjs branch tomorrow @work

    August 16, 2012

  • Sait

    can we join around 2:30pm? Also, is there a list of the places from where data will be scraped?

    August 16, 2012

  • Ed Borden

    Yes. There's a chopt right around the corner on 17th my fav

    August 16, 2012

  • Jonathan Dahan

    should grab food beforehand, yeah?

    August 16, 2012

  • Adam Harvey

    Sounds great. What type of scraping methods and which languages or frameworks are being covered here?

    July 30, 2012

    • Ed Borden

      Frameworks: IMacro, FakeApp, Scraperwiki, Beautiful Soup, Scrapy.
      Languages: PHP, SQL, Python, Java Script.

      August 6, 2012

    • Ed Borden

      But remember, the content will be kept accessible to non-coders. More sophisticated scripts for experienced coders will also be provided.

      August 6, 2012

  • Ed Borden

    Stuff costs money.... it's $10 dude

    August 4, 2012

  • Gregg C Levine

    How come we need to contribute money? Oh and what is it being used for?

    August 3, 2012

  • Ed Borden

    Yes, it's going to be either at Parsons Uni or Pace Uni

    July 31, 2012

  • Javaun Moradi

    Is this one in NYC?

    July 31, 2012

  • Maria Mendez

    +1 for weekends

    July 31, 2012

  • Ed Borden

    What if we started later (like 1PM) and went until 7PM? That way anyone missing work would only have to miss a half day?

    July 31, 2012

  • Greg Damiani

    I wish you'd move this to a weekend!

    July 31, 2012

24 went

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