Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites automatically using a web scraper or crawler. The extracted data can be used for various purposes, such as market research, price comparison, or data analysis. One platform that provides a wealth of data for analysis is Uber Eats, a popular food delivery service.
In this article, we will discuss how to scrape food delivery data and scrape UberEats review data from Uber Eats for free, including identifying the target website, choosing a web scraping tool, identifying data fields to scrape, setting up the web scraper, running the web scraper, and storing the scraped data in a file. Additionally, we will discuss the potential legal and ethical issues that arise from web scraping and how to overcome technical challenges.
By the end of this article, you will understand how to scrape food delivery data from Uber Eats and how to approach web scraping ethically and responsibly.
The first step in obtaining data from a website is to identify its domain name. The domain name is the official name of a site and consists of the top-level domain (TLD), such as .com, .org, or .net. In our case, we will use Uber Eats’s domain name: eats.uber.com.
After identifying the TLD, you can use Whois Lookup websites to obtain information about your target website’s IP address, DNS records (if applicable), administrative contact email address, and more.
Now that we have identified the target website, we can choose a web scraping tool.
There are three types of web scraping tools: manual web scrapers, primitive web scrapers, and advanced web scrapers. Manual web scrapers allow you to directly select an element from the target website and extract its content.
These tools do not require programming skills and only support simple scraping tasks like extracting text or HTML data. Primitive web scrapers are similar to manual tools, but they use programming languages such as Python to scrape data for you.
However, they are browser-dependent, and their scraping capabilities could be improved. Advanced web scrapers, however, allow you to scrape content that is not readily accessible through user interaction (such as private data).
On top of that, advanced scrapers also allow you to scrape content from multiple targets simultaneously and may include data transformation and cleaning functions. Web scraping tools like Review Gator's web scraping API, Scrapy, and PyScraper fall under the category of advanced web scrapers. Before choosing a web scraping tool, looking up the associated scraping code in the online documentation is a good idea. You can also read the forum, check out the source code on GitHub, and ask on social media.
It is also good to check out some walkthroughs to see what other web scrapers do with their data. A simple way to do this is by viewing their scrape statistics and seeing which data fields they are scraping. This will give you an idea of which data fields you can use with your target website and any limitations your target might have on scraping.
Once you have chosen a web scraping tool, you can begin the data extraction process. First, identify what data fields you need to achieve your target objective.
So, suppose you have determined that your use case can be accomplished by scraping the number of meals ordered for each day of the month and analyzing them (e.g., comparing them with your peers). In that case, you should also look into what data fields from Uber Eats will allow you to fulfill this objective.
By searching for "Uber Eats maximum order amount" on the Uber Eats website, you can find the following data field:
Regardless of which data field you choose to scrape, make sure your target website’s firewall rules will not block it. Also, make sure that the data you are scraping is provided by Uber Eats and not information scraped from another source.
After identifying a target web field, you must set up your web scraper. You can do this two ways: natively with a programming language, such as Python and Ruby, or by using a browser plugin like Scrapy. You can also download web scraping API codes from the internet and then adapt them to your needs.
However, to use web scraping software, ensure that your computer or server meets the minimum requirements and includes any additional modules you may need. You also have to learn how to use the software. It can be a daunting task for beginners who may require additional support.
Using a browser plugin, however, is very easy. You don’t need to worry about setting up your web scraper for use on your computer or server because it does not require additional modules or coding skills. Plus, you can use the web scraping API immediately after you install it onto your browser.
For our example, we will use ReviewGator API, which is free to use to scrape Uber Eats website data in Python.
To get your API key, follow these steps: Go to the ReviewGator API website.
Now that we have set up our web scraper and gotten our API key, we are ready to scrap data from the Uber Eats website.
Before you can start scraping, you need to run your web scraper by visiting the following link: https://www.reviewgator.com/widget/widget_iframe.html?wid=3173&env=&wid=3173&env=. Put the following values into the boxes: target site URL: www.uber.com/; Review Gator's base URL: https://www.reviewgators.com/web-scraping-api.php.
ReviewGator API key you generated earlier: API key (e.g., API key you saved previously). You can also see this in the "API Key" text box when you visit the Review Gator site and click on Generate New API Key button at the bottom of your screen. Once you are ready to scrap data, click the Start Scraping button.
When you start scraping data, the following screen will pop up. You can see the data collection process on this screen and then click on the "Continue" button to continue with scraping.
Once all the data is scraped, Reviewgator will message that all your requests have been sent to the target website. ReviewGator will also provide a download link for all your records so you can access them from anywhere with an internet connection.
You can analyze your target site’s data if you are satisfied with it. To do so, first, download the scraped data so that you can access it directly from ReviewGator. Click on the "Download Files" button at the bottom-right of your screen to access your downloaded records.
You can then analyze this information using a spreadsheet application or other tool. For example, we will use Excel to analyze our recently scraped Uber Eats data.
Now that you know how to scrape data from a target website, you can apply your knowledge in other areas. You can use this information to scrape data on any topic, such as social media content, the stock market, and news articles.
You can even find this information about your competitors. In particular, we recommend that you analyze competitor websites for their users' behavior profiles or trends. This information can help you predict user needs so that you can improve your target website's performance and customize it to provide just what users want.