Since first publishing my resources collection a couple of years ago I've been fortunate to have had lots of startups and vendors contact me to share news about their latest features and tools. I'm always extremely grateful for people approaching me with these developments but often I just haven't got the bandwidth or current problem context to spend much time trying them out.
However, there are occasions when there is a perfect alignment of a tool/feature landing just as I'm working on or writing about a 'thing'. This is what happened this morning when Sally from Import.io got in touch to share details of a new feature called 'Magic'.
Magic allows users to paste in a URL into a search box, hit a 'Get Data' button and then turns that page into a table of data or API without the need for any training or anything to download or install. What stands out is really the simplicity, the speed and the convenience of the output.
I quickly tried it out on a random Wikipedia page (List of Stadiums by Capacity), ran it through Magic and it took about 8 seconds to pull down the data behind a wikipedia page in to .csv format to work with in Excel.
Of course, as with any web scraping tool, Magic will work best with web pages that have some underlying data structure. And indeed there are other scraping tools available - check out the 'Data Handling' category on the resources page - but I'm sure Magic will offer a lot of benefits to many of you out there working with data from webpages.