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St. Olaf Course Data

This repository holds the data for Gobbldygook in both raw (XML) and proccessed (JSON) forms. You do not need this repository if your are only interested in using Gobbldygook.


If you are interested in using the course data in another tool, it's hosted through Github on the gh-pages branch.

You can download it however you'd like, such as via curl. Assuming you want the 2016-Fall data in csv format (aka the file 20161.csv), you'd do:


We have data from 1994-Fall through this year, whetever this year is, automatically updated from the SIS's Class & Lab page once a day.


We make some changes to the original XML data we get from the SIS, as detailed in the table below.

from key to key change details
clbid String to int
coursename name Unescape HTML entities
coursenumber level Extract the "level" (number from 1-3) from the course number
coursenumber number String to int
coursesection section None
coursestatus status None
coursesubtype type Expand the letter to a word; e.g., R to Research
credits String to float
crsid String to int
deptname departments Put the departments into a list
description If the course description (in the SIS detail window) is different from the notes, it's embedded here
gereqs Extract text from the HTML provided, and turn them into a list
groupid String to int
instructors Extract text from the HTML provided, turn them into a list, and flip them to be "First Last", instead of "Last, First"
meetinglocations locations Extract text from the HTML provided, and turn them into a list
meetingtimes times Extract text from the HTML provided, and turn them into a list
notes Remove <br> tags and extraneous whitespace
pn Y/N to boolean
prerequisites Simple implementation: look for the string Prereq in notes and description, then taken everything from "Prereq" to the end of the string and put it in prerequisites
revisions A recorded history of revisions of the course
term term, year, semester Take the five-digit term string, turn it into a number, and split it into year and semester for simplicity
title If the course title (in the SIS detail window) is different from the name, it's embedded here
varcredits Remove it entirely. I have no idea what it does; it's set to N for every single course in the database.


A revision records what changed in a course. Every revision will have an _updated property, which records when the revision was recorded¹, as well as what changed. The other key/value pairs in the revision are the old values for those keys; null indicates that there was no old value.

1: Note that this is when it was recorded, not necessarily when it happened. Sometimes the updater breaks, so a bunch of changes get grouped into one update.


The course data for St. Olaf College








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