Liam Flynn Liam Flynn - 7 months ago 18
Javascript Question

Scraping javascript website in R

I want to scrape the match time and date from this url:

http://www.scoreboard.com/game/rosol-l-goffin-d-2014/8drhX07d/#game-summary

By using the chrome dev tools, I can see this appears to be generated using the following code:

<td colspan="3" id="utime" class="mstat-date">01:20 AM, October 29, 2014</td>


But this is not in the source html.

I think this is because its java (correct me if Im wrong). How can I scrape this information using R?

Answer

So, RSelenium is not the only answer (anymore). If you can install the PhantomJS binary (grab phantomjs binaries from here: http://phantomjs.org/) then you can use it to render the HTML and scrape it with rvest (similar to the RSelenium approach but doesn't require java):

library(rvest)

# render HTML from the site with phantomjs

url <- "http://www.scoreboard.com/game/rosol-l-goffin-d-2014/8drhX07d/#game-summary"

writeLines(sprintf("var page = require('webpage').create();
page.open('%s', function () {
    console.log(page.content); //page source
    phantom.exit();
});", url), con="scrape.js")

system("phantomjs scrape.js > scrape.html")

# extract the content you need
pg <- html("scrape.html")
pg %>% html_nodes("#utime") %>% html_text()

## [1] "10:20 AM, October 28, 2014"
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