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An agenda scraper framework for municipalities

Project description

Engage Scraper


pip i engage-scraper


The Engage Scraper is a standalone library that can be included in any service. The purpose of the scraper is to catalog a municipality's council meeting agendas in a usable format for such things as the engage-client and engage-backend.

To extend this library for your municipality, override the methods of the base class from the scraper_core/ directory and put it in scraper_logics/, prefacing it with your municipality name. For an example see the Santa Monica, CA example in the scraper_logics/ directory. The Santa Monica example makes use of because it requires HTML scraping for its sources. Feel free to make PRs with new utilities (for example, PDF scraping, RSS scraping, JSON parsing, etc.). The Santa Monica example also uses SQLAlchemy for its models and that is what is preferred for use in the, however you can use anything. ORMs are preferred rather than vanilla psycopg2 or the like.

To use the postgres make sure to set these 5 environment variables (check dev.env and see docker-compose usage below):

  • POSTGRES_HOST optional a host or hostname that is resolvable. Defaults to localhost
  • POSTGRES_USER required
  • POSTGRES_PORT optional defaults to 5432
  • POSTGRES_DB required The database used for cataloging your municipality's agendas.

An example of using the Santa Monica scraper library

from engage_scraper.scraper_logics import santamonica_scraper_logic

scraper = santamonica_scraper_logic.SantaMonicaScraper(committee="Santa Monica City Council")

For SantaMonicaScraper instantiation

For twitter utils used in SantaMonicaScraer

To use the santa monica logic, you must create an App on twitter (will work to make this optional). Following making an app, please use the structure dev.env file to insert the appropriate parameters. But make sure not to make changes to the repository's file. Copy the file up one directory and edit it there. Following the edit, use the docker-compose.yml for testing. You can add examples to examples/ and run them from the script in scripts/ using the docker container.

For the SantaMonicaScraper class the init has these options

  • tz_string="America/Los_Angeles" # defaulted string
  • years=["2019"] # defaulted array of strings of years
  • committee="Santa Monica City Council" # defaulted string of council name

The exposed API methods for scraper are

  • .get_available_agendas() # To get available agendas, no arguments
  • .scrape() # To process agendas and store contents

Feel free to expose more

  • Write wrappers for internal functions if you want to expose them
  • Write extra functions to handle more complex municipality-specific tasks

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