SASSCAL webSAPI: A web scraping application programming interface to support access to SASSCAL’s weather data

Tsaone Swaabow Thapelo, Molaletsa Namoshe, Oduetse Matsebe, Tshiamo Motshegwa, Mary Jane Morongwa Bopape

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate and Land Management (SASSCAL) was initiated to support regional weather monitoring and climate research in Southern Africa. As a result, several Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs) were implemented to provide numerical weather data within the collaborating countries. Meanwhile, access to the SASSCAL weather data is limited to a number of records that are achieved via a series of clicks. Currently, end users can not efficaciously extract the desired weather values. Thus, the data is not fully utilised by end users. This work contributes with an open source Web Scraping Application Programming Interface (WebSAPI) through an interactive dashboard. The objective is to extend functionalities of the SASSCAL Weathernet for: data extraction, statistical data analysis and visualisation. The SASSCAL WebSAPI was developed using the R statistical environment. It deploys web scraping and data wrangling techniques to support access to SASSCAL weather data. This WebSAPI reduces the risk of human error, and the researcher’s effort of generating desired data sets. The proposed framework for the SASSCAL WebSAPI can be modified for other weather data banks while taking into consideration the legality and ethics of the toolkit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalData Science Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 28 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications


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