A Python scraper for lost and found ads in all U.S. states.
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A Python scraper for Craigslist lost and found ads in all U.S. states, using BeautifulSoup.

I used this very basic little script to comb Craigslist ads for lost iPhones.

It's made of two Python scripts:

  • clstates.py opens the URL ('http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites') and extracts from it the Craigslist sites for each U.S. state, putting the site URL name into a .txt file. These .txt files go into a working directory called "out/"

  • clads.py looks inside "out/" directory, for each CL site builds the lost and found search URL and attaches the search key "iphone"; it iterates through the search results to extract the ad content and drops it into a file called out-STATENAME.txt

The code tries to play nice with the CL server, taking plenty of breaks.

Known issues

The script needs to be executed in one go, it doesn't deal well with network interruptions since it does not keep track of what has already been done.