Wanted to see if it’s possible to pull latest arrests on a website. For instance, I’m interested in pulling latest arrests from the city of Charlotte, NC onto “crimeincharlotte.com”:
<snip/> (I’d like to have this information displayed on “crimeincharlotte.com”)
Is it a widget that I need to find or is it something that needs to be handled directly with the Police Department and ask for permission and have them send some sort of rss feed to the website.
Check the terms and conditions of use for the information on the source website you have in mind before proceeding. It would be inadvisable to actually become one of the crimes you plan on reporting
Fascinating… I’ve just been looking at mugshots for todays collection of offenders at http://arrestinquiryweb.co.mecklenburg.nc.us
do all US police departments have similiar websites?
Seems the information is public domain, however…
the link for sites terms & conditions of useage is broken
so would suggest you consult the PD and a lawyer first.
As for a widget to fetch the site data, yes it can be done.
Good luck finding a feed of any kind. You will probably need to write a custom processing script to scrape the pages and field it into something meaningful. We are working on something similar to find that every county seems to have a different way of doing things. The best thing you can do is create adapters and normalize on your own end w/ a good HTML parser library because most of the pages are complete gibberish with broken, invalid mark-up. Though you might get lucky if you are only dealing with a single source, they might even have a feed (doubtful).
thanks for the reply Sogo7, I think some Police departments have different websites for their work…like each department have their own way of doing things.
Thanks for the reply odds, sounds pretty complicated to do it…I thought it was some kind of widget or plugin since I see more and more of those mugshots sites around the web.
This is an area the government is lacking. There *really should be a gov site for central location of all bookings. but yeah… it is pretty much left up to the individual counties with no normalization.
For what it’s worth I took a look at http://arrestinquiryweb.co.mecklenburg.nc.us/ with a Yahoo Pipe RSS creator and that’s pretty easy to use even for a novice with no coding skills. It encountered no problems getting at the data, the search URL can be entered directly and the page fetched without any need for creative workarounds. Other PD sites of course may vary and whilst you may not get the latest booking details things like missing persons or most wanted pages are pretty common features for many of the ones I skimmed through.