Scraping the dentist's data from findadentist.ada.org

This project describes how a solve a client problem that needs to get the dentist's data fast from findadentist.ada.org

Patrick Alves's photo
Patrick Alves
·Apr 3, 2019·

7 min read

Scraping the dentist's data from findadentist.ada.org

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This project describes how a solve a client problem that needs to get the dentist's data fast from findadentist.ada.org.

Problem

A client needed a lot of information about dentists available on findadentist.ada.org. The process of obtaining the data manually was very repetitive and impracticable given the number of dentists required.

Task

Create a bot to automate the collection (scraping) of website data.

Solution

I've used Python to create a bot that sends requests to the findadentist.ada.org API to get the dentist's data. The bot takes a JSON file as an input, this JSON file contains data to perform searches in findadentist.ada.org. The result is another JSON file with the dentist's name, specialty, gender, address, website, education, contact info, etc.

Results

The client integrates the bot in his software to perform quick searches and get a lot of information about several dentists in one click. This saves a lot of time and allows him to focus on more important tasks of his business.

Built with: Python and Docker.


Source code

The solution is available at Github.

github


Scraping findadentist.ada.org

This project contains a set of Python scripts used to scrape the dentist's data from findadentist.ada.org.

Prerequisites

  • To run the scripts, download Python 3 from Python.org.

  • After install, you need to install some Python packages.

  • Open the terminal/Prompt/cmd and run: pip install -r requirements.txt

Usage

Script name: findadentist.py

This script takes a JSON file as input. This file contains data to perform searches in findadentist.ada.org.

Example of input data:

{
"FindDentist_Input":
[
  {
    "location": "atlanta, GA",
    "zip code": 30311,
    "distance": 5,
    "specialty": "General Practice"
  },
  {
    "location": "Sugar Land, TX",
    "zip code": 77478,
    "distance": 1,
    "specialty": "Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology"
  }
]
}

How to use:

python findadentist.py data/input2.json

This script performs several requests to the findadentist.ada.org API to get the dentist's data. To obtain the data, the script performs the following tasks:

  1. The scripts use a JSON input file with a set of "location", "zip code", "distance" and "specialty" parameters.
  2. For each set of parameters, the scripts perform a search for dentists using findadentist.ada.org API.
  3. From the search results, the script takes a list of the dentist's address Ids.
  4. For each address Id, the script performs a new request to the findadentist.ada.org API and gets the dentist's data.
  5. Finally, the script formats the output data and save it in a JSON file (output.json).

Example of output data:

{
    "FindDentist_Output": [
        {
            "dentistName": "Dr. Jeffrey S Butts",
            "specialty": "General Practice",
            "profieImage_URL": "findadentist.ada.org/Images/Profile/229367-Dr-Jeffrey-Butts.png",
            "website": "www.campcreekdental.com",
            "language": [],
            "education": "Meharry Medical College",
            "gender": "Male",
            "paymentOptions": [],
            "contactInfo": {
                "phone": "(404) 344-2323",
                "address": "3886 Princeton Lakes Way Ste 220 Atlanta, GA 30331",
                "city": "Atlanta",
                "state": "GA",
                "zip": "30331"
            },
            "proximity": {
                "distance": "4.8",
                "inputZip": "30311"
            }
        },
        {
            "dentistName": "Dr. Kimberly J Williams",
            "specialty": "General Practice",
            "profieImage_URL": "findadentist.ada.org/Images/Profile/118049-Dr-Kimberly-Williams.png",
            "website": "www.greatexpressions.com/dental-offices/georgia-offices/cascade",
            "language": [],
            "education": "University of Detroit- Mercy",
            "gender": "Female",
            "paymentOptions": [],
            "contactInfo": {
                "phone": "(678) 836-2118",
                "address": "3752 Cascade Rd Sw Ste 190 Atlanta, GA 30331-2149",
                "city": "Atlanta",
                "state": "GA",
                "zip": "30331-2149"
            },
            "proximity": {
                "distance": "2.1",
                "inputZip": "30311"
            }
        },
        {
            "dentistName": "Dr Molly H Ruiz",
            "specialty": "General Practice",
            "profieImage_URL": "findadentist.ada.org/Images/Profile/339870-Dr-Molly-Ruiz.png",
            "website": "goodsamatlanta.org",
            "language": [],
            "education": "Georgia Regents University",
            "gender": "Female",
            "paymentOptions": [],
            "contactInfo": {
                "phone": "(678) 371-5181",
                "address": "1015 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW Atlanta, GA 30318-6653",
                "city": "Atlanta",
                "state": "GA",
                "zip": "30318-6653"
            },
            "proximity": {
                "distance": "4.7",
                "inputZip": "30311"
            }
        }
    ]
}

In the data/ folder you can find an example of the input and output files.

Proxy Setup:

The findadentist.ada.org website has strong mechanisms against web scraping. So to get all the data you need to use some rotation proxy solution.

The Python file proxy_pool.py enables the use of a pool of proxies from two services:

The sslproxies.org contains a large list of public proxy servers that are updated every minute. The proxy_pool.py builds a list of the last 100 proxy servers from sslproxies.org.

The proxycrawl.com service (ProxyCrawl Backconnect Proxy) provides a unique address that receives all connections and automatically deals with the IP address rotation so that every request will use a different IP address. This service has better performance, but in the free version, you need to manually add your current IP address in the IP Whitelist through the website.

In the findadentist.py file there is a parameter called proxy_server_options used to set how to build your requests, the number set in this variable defines which proxy service will be used:

Running an example::

In this example, I set proxy_server_options = 1.

>> scraping-findadentist>python findadentist.py data/input2.json
[I 190402 11:11:30 findadentist:131] Starting findadentist.py script ...
[D 190402 11:11:30 proxy_pool:24] Using proxy servers from proxy.proxycrawl.com
[I 190402 11:11:30 findadentist:136] Loading input file: data/input2.json
[I 190402 11:11:30 findadentist:173] Performing search 1/4 - requested page: https://findadentist.ada.org/api/Dentists?Address=30311&Specialty=1&Distance=5
[I 190402 11:11:33 findadentist:187] 18 dentists found.
[I 190402 11:11:33 findadentist:173] Performing search 2/4 - requested page: https://findadentist.ada.org/api/Dentists?Address=77478&Specialty=10&Distance=1
[W 190402 11:11:35 findadentist:184] No results found for the search parameters: Address=77478  Specialty=10  Distance=1
[I 190402 11:11:35 findadentist:173] Performing search 3/4 - requested page: https://findadentist.ada.org/api/Dentists?Address=90014&Specialty=6&Distance=1
[I 190402 11:11:38 findadentist:187] 7 dentists found.
[I 190402 11:11:38 findadentist:173] Performing search 4/4 - requested page: https://findadentist.ada.org/api/Dentists?Address=30311&Specialty=1&Distance=5
[I 190402 11:11:40 findadentist:187] 18 dentists found.
[I 190402 11:11:40 findadentist:194] A total of 25 dentists IDs obtained
[I 190402 11:11:40 findadentist:202] Getting data for 25 dentists
[I 190402 11:11:40 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3463667 - 1/25
[I 190402 11:11:42 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3753856 - 2/25
[I 190402 11:11:45 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 2965488 - 3/25
[I 190402 11:11:47 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 2803858 - 4/25
[I 190402 11:11:50 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1538580 - 5/25
[I 190402 11:11:52 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3279660 - 6/25
[I 190402 11:11:54 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1648025 - 7/25
[I 190402 11:11:56 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3433737 - 8/25
[I 190402 11:11:59 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1648024 - 9/25
[I 190402 11:12:01 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3063875 - 10/25
[I 190402 11:12:04 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1647911 - 11/25
[I 190402 11:12:06 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3500185 - 12/25
[I 190402 11:12:09 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1464724 - 13/25
[I 190402 11:12:11 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3278244 - 14/25
[I 190402 11:12:14 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1562452 - 15/25
[I 190402 11:12:16 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 2757264 - 16/25
[I 190402 11:12:18 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1647899 - 17/25
[I 190402 11:12:20 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1519665 - 18/25
[I 190402 11:12:23 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 2770283 - 19/25
[I 190402 11:12:25 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 3518558 - 20/25
[I 190402 11:12:28 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1538919 - 21/25
[I 190402 11:12:31 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1538897 - 22/25
[I 190402 11:12:33 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 2770329 - 23/25
[I 190402 11:12:35 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1619644 - 24/25
[I 190402 11:12:38 findadentist:205] Getting data for dentist ID 1620861 - 25/25
[D 190402 11:12:40 findadentist:244] Saving the data in output.json file
[I 190402 11:12:40 findadentist:250] Total scraping time: 1.16 minutes
[D 190402 11:12:40 findadentist:251] scraping finished

Using Docker

You can build a Docker container for this project and run it as an app.

In the project directory, there is a Dockerfile with all docker settings to build the docker image.

To build the image, in the project directory run:

docker build -t scraping-findadentist .

A ready-to-use image can be obtained from this link.

In this case, you need to load the image in Docker:

docker load -i <path to image tar file>

To run the image:

docker run --name findadentist_app scraping-findadentist

The output file created by the app (output.json) was saved inside the container filesystem.

To copy this file to your local filesystem run:

docker cp findadentist_app:/output.json output.json

Finally, stop the container instance:

docker stop findadentist_app
 
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