Scraping Booking.com Property Listings in C++ in 2023

Oct 15, 2023 · 5 min read

In this article, we will learn how to scrape property listings from Booking.com using C++. We will use the curl and libxml2 libraries to fetch the HTML content and then extract key information like property name, location, ratings, etc.

Prerequisites

To follow along, you will need:

  • g++ compiler installed
  • libcurl for making HTTP requests
  • libxml2 for HTML parsing
  • Include Libraries

    At the top of your C++ file, include the required libraries:

    #include <curl/curl.h>
    #include <libxml/HTMLparser.h>
    #include <libxml/xpath.h>
    

    Define URL

    Let's define the URL we want to scrape:

    const char* url = "<https://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?ss=New+York&>...";
    

    We won't paste the full URL here.

    Set User Agent

    We need to set a valid user agent header:

    curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) ...");
    

    This will make the request appear to come from a real browser.

    Fetch HTML Page

    We can use libcurl to fetch the HTML content:

    CURLcode result = curl_easy_perform(curl);
    
    if(result == CURLE_OK) {
    
      // Parse HTML
    
    }
    

    We make sure the request succeeded before parsing.

    Parse HTML

    To parse the HTML, we use libxml2's htmlReadMemory method:

    htmlDocPtr doc = htmlReadMemory(response.data, response.size, "", NULL, 0);
    

    This loads the HTML into an htmlDoc struct.

    Extract Property Cards

    The property cards have a data-testid attribute we can search for:

    xpathCtxPtr ctx = xmlXPathNewContext(doc);
    xpathObjPtr cards = xmlXPathEvalExpression("//div[@data-testid='property-card']", ctx);
    

    This evaluates an XPath expression to find the cards.

    Loop Through Cards

    We can iterate through the cards:

    for(int i = 0; i < cards->nodesetval->nodeNr; i++) {
    
      xmlNodePtr card = cards->nodesetval->nodeTab[i];
    
      // Extract data from card node
    
    }
    

    Inside this loop we will extract information from each card node.

    Extract Title

    To get the title, we search for the data-testid="title" element:

    xmlChar* title = xmlGetProp(card, "data-testid");
    

    We fetch the text content of the element.

    Extract Location

    Similarly, the address is under a data-testid="address" element:

    xmlChar* location = xmlGetProp(card, "data-testid");
    

    The pattern is the same for other fields.

    Extract Rating

    The star rating aria-label contains the score:

    xmlChar* rating = xmlGetProp(card, "aria-label");
    

    Here we get the aria-label attribute from the div.

    Extract Review Count

    The review count text is inside a class="abf093bdfe" element:

    xmlChar* reviewCount = xmlGetProp(card, "textContent");
    

    Extract Description

    The description is in a class="d7449d770c" element:

    xmlChar* description = xmlGetProp(card, "textContent");
    

    Print Extracted Data

    We can print out the extracted data:

    std::cout << "Name: " << title << std::endl;
    std::cout << "Location: " << location << std::endl;
    std::cout << "Rating: " << rating << std::endl;
    // etc...
    

    And that covers scraping Booking.com property listings in C++! Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Full Code

    Here is the complete C++ code:

    #include <curl/curl.h>
    #include <libxml/HTMLparser.h>
    #include <libxml/xpath.h>
    
    int main() {
    
      const char* url = "https://www.booking.com/searchresults.en-gb.html?ss=New+York&checkin=2023-03-01&checkout=2023-03-05&group_adults=2";
    
      CURL* curl = curl_easy_init();
    
      curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_URL, url);
      curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) ...");
    
      CURLcode result = curl_easy_perform(curl);
    
      if(result == CURLE_OK) {
    
        xmlDocPtr doc = htmlReadMemory(response.data, response.size, "", NULL, 0);
    
        xpathCtxPtr ctx = xmlXPathNewContext(doc);
        xpathObjPtr cards = xmlXPathEvalExpression("//div[@data-testid='property-card']", ctx);
    
        for(int i = 0; i < cards->nodesetval->nodeNr; i++) {
    
          xmlNodePtr card = cards->nodesetval->nodeTab[i];
    
          xmlChar* title = xmlGetProp(card, "data-testid");
          xmlChar* location = xmlGetProp(card, "data-testid");
          xmlChar* rating = xmlGetProp(card, "aria-label");
          xmlChar* reviewCount = xmlGetProp(card, "textContent");
          xmlChar* description = xmlGetProp(card, "textContent");
    
          std::cout << "Name: " << title << std::endl;
          std::cout << "Location: " << location << std::endl;
          std::cout << "Rating: " << rating << std::endl;
          std::cout << "Review Count: " << reviewCount << std::endl;
          std::cout << "Description: " << description << std::endl;
    
        }
    
      }
    
      curl_easy_cleanup(curl);
    
      return 0;
    }
    

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