Web Scraping and COVID-19
Web scraping can be used to help solve global issues like finding a vaccine for Covid-19, it has many other practical benefits for everyday usage
In a time where information is being gathered in terabytes per second around the world, it has become nearly impossible to find the information you're looking for. The internet is vast and full of information that is frankly irrelevant to what most people are really looking for and it is about time to find the solution.

As we see Covid-19 information being generated at a rate that has never been seen before, it is more important than ever to have the information you want and need with ease. Thanks to the creation of the service known as web scraping, web scraping COVID information is easier than ever before. To help you understand the benefits of web scraping and its impact on the Covid-19, we need to first take a look at what exactly web scraping is.


What is Web Scraping?
When you open up a website, you may think you are getting access to a large amount of data. However, what many people don't know is that there is a substantially larger amount of information that is seemingly hidden from the view of most users. If you want to find the data that is buried within the websites, you have to go into the source code that only allows you to view the information within the browser.

This may be fine for the casual internet browser, but it isn't very helpful to those who need more than just a glimpse at the data. Because of the nature and design of internet browsers and individual websites, it is impossible for those looking to get more information than just what is able to be seen on the surface.

To get information off of a website and into an offline database, you would have to copy and paste every piece of information from the website into your own area. While this is doable, it can take hours or even days to actually extract the necessary information from a given website so you can convert it into usable information. This is where web scraping comes in to save the day.

Just like so many things in today's world, web scraping has come to automate the process of collecting data off of a website. Web scraping software can help out web users by taking the information off of a website in the form of raw data and converts it into usable information for anyone who needs it. This software loads a website's multiple pages and then converts it into an extracted file for download on a computer. Web scraping is often designed with the intent to work on a specific website for a company, but it can also be used for a wider range of uses across websites.

Now that we know the basics of what web scraping is, we can use that information to see how a web scraping service can be used for good purposes like COVID tracking.


How Web Scraping has Been Affecting COVID-19
As Covid-19 has taken the world by surprise and led to events that would never before have been imaginable, there are ways we can use technology for good. The virus that started out as a small concern thousands of miles away has become an international pandemic over the period of just a few months. Because of this, the entire world has been bunkered down in anticipation that it will be taken care of.

While it is nice to think that the virus will just be wiped out overnight as scientists work tirelessly to get a vaccine, that doesn't represent the full picture. Scientists are working hard to sequence the virus and are trying to discover how it works and spreads, but that task is not simple. Considering how many nations are trying to find the vaccine or even cure for this virus, the amount of data being gathered and collected every day is immeasurable.

Because of the amount of data that is being created every day, it is nearly impossible to actually put it all together to create an understandable timeline of research. However, the software that has been used to scrape websites for important consumer data and other information has been brought out into the spotlight for COVID-19 assistance.

With a few tweaks to the source code of many web scraping software applications, they can be used to gather COVID-19 information and culminate it into a more accessible format. For example, institutions like Johns Hopkins are using their software skills to look into all data about the virus in an effort to culminate it in a refined location. Whether there was a post on social media or a report released with promising vaccine updates, it is all taken into consideration in the big picture data collection they're conducting.

When this software is used to scrape the web for any information regarding the virus, it can be used to get rid of information that is no longer relevant and bring essential resources to the foreground. Web scraping data can be used to help scientists across the world see what information came out months ago and what was just released this morning. By collaborating across international barriers through the use of data collecting software, web scraping can help save lives and help the world get through this pandemic together.


The Benefits of Web Scraping
Even though web scraping can be used to help solve global issues like finding a vaccine for Covid-19, it has many other practical benefits for everyday usage. Let's look at the benefits of using web scraping for your needs in any field.
Helps You Compare Data
Just as analytics software is used to help businesses understand how their web traffic looks and where they need to push their marketing harder, web scraping can be used for similar means. When you set up the right software for web scraping, you can see the inner workings of a website that are invisible to the average user. Since you can effectively scrape data from almost any website, you can easily gather the most crucial information about your competitors in an instant.

Many companies spend millions if not billions to understand their market and how to thrive in it, and web scraping can be used to a similar extent. Taking the time to look into key market players and how they operate will give you a better idea of what it is you can do to take your business operations to the next level.
Customizable
Just as apps and websites are all just a series of numbers and code scripts talking to each other, a web scraper is similar in creation. If you want a web scraper that is designed to just work for your website to collect data and user feedback, you can get one created with ease. If you want to deploy software that can scrape through an entire industry and collect relevant data, that can also be done.

If you are aware of how coding works, then you are likely aware of the idea of a shared source code that can be downloaded directly onto a computer. There is a wide range of scraping software available on software sharing websites that can be locally downloaded onto a computer for use. If you are looking for something more specific, you can easily have a developer write you specific code that does what you need it to when scraping.
Collects Business Information
As mentioned earlier, web scraping is an essential tool that helps businesses collect and gather data to make their operations more effective and profitable. If you want to know how your business is doing, you need to see the raw data and numbers that show how well you are doing. With web scraping, there is a world of possibilities that await when you use the software for collecting business information.

Let's say you want to improve your business and start to sell new products. When you scrape the web for information, you will find everything for average sales prices, competitor information, and nearly every resource imaginable to improve your business. With just a few months of using web scraping and implementing its help into your business, you could be on your way to never before seen profits and returns.
Web Scraping Breeds Efficiency
Where web scraping shows its true colors is when you realize how efficient it is. The old saying is that time is money, and using an effective web scraper will save you both. The software used to scrape the web and find the raw data you need does not clock out and keeps looking until you tell it to stop. Because of this, it can replace positions and outdated software that was once used and can now be replaced.
Conclusion
From Covid-19 to converting sales numbers, web scraping is a very powerful tool that almost anyone can utilize. As we have seen, the software has been used by doctors and institutions around the world to gather data on the virus which will help your business and the world get back on its feet.