Assignment Module 4 Assignment Getting Data

Module 4: Getting Data

Coding really is an entirely different language. Generally, what I found to be most difficult in all of these assignments was understanding the vocabulary and the syntax, and how they worked together to issue commands. I’m glad that we could copy and paste from different sections to put it all together because I’m not sure I could do it from memory- I think it would much more practice to reinforce these concepts to the point where I could write it all without help. (Also, the logic of while loops sometimes confuses me- something about the greater than/less than symbols throws my brain for a loop, *pun absolutely intended.*)

However, I think webscraping will be especially helpful in my own endeavors, as it seems like many museums may not have APIs (but have online collections available to pull on a page-by-page basis from the html.) Knowing how to parse the metadata of large collections without having to manually examine each item across potentially thousands of pages provides a temporary workaround for those of us who do not have immediate access to an insitution’s finding aids or collections management system, if that is what a project requires.

I discovered that the New York Times has many different APIs available for their articles. There are some fun ones- the APIs for movie reviews and for the Best Sellers Lists would probably reveal some neat trends, given the longevity of the paper- but the API for the NYT controlled vocabulary tags, the Top Stories, or even the Articles could provide a very large set of data on a multitude of topics. You could produce something like Blevins’ research on Houston, for one, or explore the frequency of different people, places, etc. in conjunction with other variables.


API requests



Gender Inference


One reply on “Module 4: Getting Data”

While loops are a bit to get your mind around! They’re a bit easier to grasp when you’re writing them with something you’re familiar with, but it’s hard to get to that point before you know what’s possible.

Assignments look good, and good catch with the less common names and title problem.

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