The ScraperWiki community has a mish-mash of user interests, so we have a mish-mash of data, scrapers and views. It’s actually quite fun to spend time looking around, to see what people have done and how they have approached a scrape.
Samuel Chinweoke Nwaobia found some data on US visa lottery winners (or Green Card Lottery) on NationMaster.com. Check out their interactive map. Nigeria is the no.1 country for Green card winners with 7,145 but the number quickly reduces with Egypt at no.10 with only 4,189 successful applicants, and countries like Tunisia and Yemen at no.73 and 74 respectively.
It sources the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. Because the data is on a webpage with visual exploratory tools, people have found it from a search engine. And this has spawned some user-generated data.
What Samuel has done is rather interesting. He’s looked, not at the data, but at the comments people have added to the webpage. He scraped them. And I was able to extract the text and put it into a word cloud. Here it is:
This gives a very different picture. Not just of the numbers or the geographical spread. But of what real people have to say when they believe they have a voice. It paints a sadder picture than the numbers which show visa lottery ‘winners’. This is the voice of the Green Card ‘waiters’.
Sadly, the vast majority of the people who have found the data have used the comment box to ask whether they have been successful. They are desperate to know if they have won the lottery. ‘Please’ appears in many forms and many people have given their name, email address and phone number in the hope of hearing back about their application.
Last year 13.6 million people applied for the 50,000 visas available.