Scrapy Tutorial

Install Scrapy

pip install scrapy

Setting up the project

scrapy startproject ucla_scraper

Creating the Spider

Run this snippet in the your command line/terminal to create a spider called “ucla_scraper”:

scrapy genspider ucla_scraper ucla 

Next open the file that was created in the “spiders” folder, it should be called “”

Feel free to copy and paste the following code based off of a datablogger tutorial (

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import scrapy
from scrapy.linkextractor import LinkExtractor
from scrapy.spiders import Rule, CrawlSpider

class ScraperItem(scrapy.Item):
    # The source URL
    url_from = scrapy.Field()
    # The destination URL
    url_to = scrapy.Field()

class UclaScraperSpider(CrawlSpider):
    name = "ucla_scraper"
    allowed_domains = [""]
    start_urls = ['']
    custom_settings = {
        'DEPTH_LIMIT': '2'}

    # This spider has one rule: extract all (unique and canonicalized) links, follow them and parse them using the parse_items method
    rules = [

    # Method which starts the requests by visiting all URLs specified in start_urls
    def start_requests(self):
        for url in self.start_urls:
            yield scrapy.Request(url, callback=self.parse, dont_filter=True)

    # Method for parsing items
    def parse_items(self, response):
        # The list of items that are found on the particular page
        items = []
        # Only extract canonicalized and unique links (with respect to the current page)
        links = LinkExtractor(canonicalize=True, unique=True).extract_links(response)
        # Now go through all the found links
        for link in links:
            # Check whether the domain of the URL of the link is allowed; so whether it is in one of the allowed domains
            is_allowed = False
            for allowed_domain in self.allowed_domains:
                if allowed_domain in link.url:
                    is_allowed = True
            # If it is allowed, create a new item and add it to the list of found items
            if is_allowed:
                item = ScraperItem()
                item['url_from'] = response.url
                item['url_to'] = link.url
        # Return all the found items
        return items

Execute the Spider!

Run the spider from the command line in the parent directory of the spiders folder as follows:

scrapy crawl ucla_scraper -o links.csv -t csv