Pandas API on Spark for HTML Table Extraction


In today’s data-driven world, extracting valuable insights from diverse sources is paramount. However, handling HTML tables efficiently within big data environments like Apache Spark can pose challenges. Thankfully, with the integration of Pandas API on Spark, data engineers and analysts can streamline this process, enabling seamless extraction and manipulation of HTML tables.┬áThe Pandas API on Spark brings the simplicity and versatility of Pandas to the distributed computing power of Apache Spark. By leveraging functions like read_html(), data professionals can efficiently extract HTML tables into DataFrame objects, paving the way for seamless data manipulation and analysis at scale.

Introduction to Pandas API on Spark

Apache Spark has emerged as a powerful tool for processing large-scale data sets. However, its native DataFrame API may not always provide the flexibility and ease of use offered by Pandas, a popular data manipulation library in Python. Recognizing this gap, the Pandas API on Spark was developed, bridging the functionality of Pandas with the scalability of Spark.

One of the key functionalities offered by the Pandas API on Spark is the ability to extract HTML tables into DataFrame objects using the read_html() function. This function simplifies the process of web scraping by automatically parsing HTML tables and converting them into structured data, ready for analysis.

Understanding the read_html() Function

The read_html() function in Pandas API on Spark allows users to read HTML tables from a given source (either a file or a URL) and convert them into a list of DataFrame objects. Let’s delve into the parameters and usage of this function:

  • io: Specifies the input source, which can be a file path, URL, or HTML content string.
  • match: Optional parameter to specify a string or regular expression to match against the tables’ contents.
  • flavor: Specifies the parsing engine to use (e.g., ‘bs4’ for BeautifulSoup).
  • header: Specifies the row to use as the column names.
  • : Additional optional parameters for customization.

Example: Extracting HTML Tables into DataFrame Objects

Let’s illustrate the usage of read_html() with a practical example. Suppose we have an HTML file containing multiple tables, and we want to extract these tables into DataFrame objects for further analysis.

# Import necessary libraries
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession
import pandas as pd
# Initialize SparkSession
spark = SparkSession.builder \
    .appName("HTMLTableExtraction") \
# Define file path or URL
html_source = "path/to/your/html/file.html"
# Read HTML tables into DataFrame objects
dfs = pd.read_html(html_source, flavor='spark')
# Display the extracted DataFrames
for idx, df in enumerate(dfs):
    print(f"DataFrame {idx + 1}:")
# Stop SparkSession


DataFrame 1:
   ID   Name  Age
0   1   John   30
1   2   Anna   25
2   3   Mike   35
DataFrame 2:
   Rank      City
0     1   New York
1     2    Chicago
2     3    Houston
Author: user