How to Collect Data

How do we collect Data?

  • We could download raw data files
    • Kaggle other sites
  • We could crawl a website
    • Run a program that automatically traverses the web for us
    • Many Python Libraries that help with that (Beautiful Soup)
  • We could use the Application Programming Interface (API)
    • Way for a program to request services from another program

Lets work with Twitters API

Heres a Link to my Twitter Web Scraper

Simple Twitter Search API

import tweepy
from tweepy import OAuthHandler
from tweepy import API

After you Create a App in Twitter you enter these values in for the X’s:


auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(C_KEY, C_SECRET)
auth.set_access_token(A_TOKEN_KEY, A_TOKEN_SECRET)
api = tweepy.API(auth)

Lets search for a specfic keyword

keyword = 'Whatever keyword we enter'
posts =,count=10)
for tweet in posts:
    print("* "+str(tweet.text.encode("utf-8")))


Will output a bunch of JSON code

Lets work on an Exercise using Python Tweepy

Read the Tweepy Documentation

Using the Twitter Search (REST) API in order to download the 10 most recent tweets from the twitter feed containing whatever keyword we decide.

APIs do have rate limitation which is how many requests can be made per day or per hour, if the rate is exceeded, the API returns an error. (possibly blocks IP address if abused)

Twitters REST API limit is 180 queries per 15 minute window

Replace the XXX’s with your own consumer tokens and access tokens

Let’s extract the screen name of the user who posts the tweet of our keyword and the tweet message as well, and store the results in a DataFrame object.

Search Methods (from tweepy documentation),[,geocode][,lang] [,locale][,result_type][,count][,until] [,since_id][,max_id] [,include_entities] )

This will return a relevant Tweets matching a specified query.


  • q : The search query string
  • geocode : Returns tweets by users location (lat/long)
  • lang : Restricts tweets to a given language
  • locale : Specify the language of the Query we sent
  • result_type : Specifies what type of search results you would prefer to receive
  • count : The number of results to try and retrieve
  • until : Returns tweets created before a given data
  • since_id : Returns only statuses with an ID greater than the specified ID
  • mad_id : Returns only statuses with an ID less than or equal to the specified ID
  • include_entities : he entities node will not be included when set to false. Defaults to true

In our case, were only intrested in using the q (query for our keyword) and count to limit the number of tweets to search for.

The keyword to search for in this example will be: Michigan State Spartansv(Go Green!)

import tweepy
from tweepy import OAuthHandler
from tweepy import API

import pandas as pd

consumer_key = 'XXX'
consumer_secret = 'XXX'
access_token = 'XXX'
access_token_secret = 'XXX'

auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(consumer_key, consumer_secret)
auth.set_access_token(access_token, access_token_secret)

api = tweepy.API(auth)

## Search Method
keyword = "Michigan State Spartans"

post = = keyword, count = 10 )

# now lets save the data of the tweet and the username

data = pd.DataFrame(columns = ["Tweet", "UserName"])

## Lets add the stuff to our DataFrame

for tweet in post:

    data = data.append( {"Tweet":tweet.text. "UserName":tweet.user.screen_name }, ignore_index = True)

Lets see our DataFrame:



	Tweet	                                            UserName
0	RT @chrissolari: Michigan State basketball's F...	TheAndyKatz
1	Michigan State basketball's Foster Loyer could...	chrissolari
2	@PekalaLaw Truly another crazy story. I guess ...	LoganSimios
3	Michigan State Womens Basketball: Nebraska Co...	SpartyOnHuskers
4	Late-night shooting pays off as Gabe Brown tur...	SpartansMLive
5	Late-night shooting pays off as Gabe Brown tur...	MLive
6	Late-night shooting pays off as Gabe Brown tur...	MLiveSports
7	RT @SportsCenter: THE SPARTANS HANDLE BUSINESS...	Krueger24Kyle
8	RT @onlinelisting: #RecentSportNews #sportcap ...	onlinelisting
9	RT @Graham_Couch: I pity the 2-seed that faces...	RyanMSU21

Now lets Use the Twitter Streaming API to download tweets and store them into a .json file