NYT XML Data Feed

Example: Working with New York Times XML Feed Data


This tutorial demonstrates how to use CDAP's Wrangler and Data Pipelines to extract and serve business critical information drawn from the New York Times XML feed.


Your organization, a multinational enterprise with holdings across several continents, is interested in monitoring RSS XML data feeds from many different news sites, such as the the New York Times. You want to route stories about different regions to the relevant analysts.

  • You want stories about Brazil to be written to dataset (that is displayed via a webapp) to the Latin America analysts

  • You want stories about Russia to be written to dataset (that is displayed via a webapp) to the Asia analysts


Click below to download a .xml file containing the data necessary to complete the tutorial.


Video Tutorial

Click to watch video.

Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Loading the Data

First, download the file from the Data section above.

To begin, navigate to the Wrangle from the CDAP homepage. In Wrangler, choose the arrow on the left hand side. Upload the nytimes-world.xml from the File System.

Wrangling the XML

You should see a single row of XML data in the body column. From the drop down menu of the body column, choose Parse > XML to JSON. Apply the transformation with Depth of "1."

On the right hand side of your screen, there are two tabs used to control data selection and directives: Columns and Directives. Select the Columns table, and check the box next to body_rss_channel_item.

You will see that the corresponding column has been highlighted. Using the caret icon next to the column name, select Keep Selected Columns.

Keep Selected Columns is a useful directive because it allows you to drop a large number of columns by only selecting the small subset you are interested in retaining.

All other columns should be deleted. Now, selecting the caret on body_rss_channel_item, apply Parse > JSON with Depth 1.

Apply this directive on more time. You will see a total of 16 columns appear. Each row contains the metadata of a single New York Times story.

Finally, you will remove all the columns that do not contain information useful to us. In the Columns tab, select:

  • body_rss_channel_item_link

  • body_rss_channel_item_dc:creator

  • body_rss_channel_item_title

  • body_rss_channel_item_category

  • body_rss_channel_item_pubDate

Selecting the drop-down caret from one of these columns, choose the Keep Selected Columns option.

Rename the columns above (in the same order) to:

  • link

  • creator

  • title

  • category

  • pubDate

You can change the column name by clicking on the name to make it editable.

Extracting the Country from Category Data

Your goal is to send stories about Russia to a database monitored by the Asia team and stories about Brazil to a database monitored by the Latin America team.

Inspecting the category column, you will see that the JSON object contains URLs in the following format:


Using the nyt_geo tag, you can filter down to areas of geographic interest.

You now want to parse this JSON so that you can retrieve the areas of interest. From the caret-drop down option on the category column, choose Parse > JSON. Apply this directive to the category column one more time.

You will now have two new columns category_domain and category_content.

From category_domain drop-down menu, choose Filter > Keep Rows > If value contains. Specify that you want to retain the row if it contains nyt_geo. Click Apply.

Only stories that are tagged with a geographic category will remain. Since you have filtered the category_domain column down to a single value, you can go ahead and delete this column by choosing Delete Column from the drop-down menu.

In the pipeline you create at the end of the tutorial, you will direct Russia stories and Brazil stories to different databases.

Cleaning the URLs

First, you see that link column is in the format


You would prefer to clean the partner=rss&emc=rss suffix. Also, you only want to relay the relative path to http://www.nytimes.com. For example, the URL above would become:


You can accomplish this by using using the Extract Fields feature. Extract Field provides a powerful suite of tools for automatically parsing features of your data such as URLs, e-mails, SSNs, and more.

From the link column drop-down, select Extract Fields > Using Patterns.

In the Extract Fields Using Patterns menu, choose Start/End pattern. Specify the start pattern to be http://www.nytimes.com and the end pattern to be ?partner=rss&emc=rss.

Click Extract. You can now delete the link column and rename link_1_1 to link.

Formatting the Date

You would like to turn the pubDate column, which is a String, into a Date object. From the pubDate column, choose Parse > Natural Date. The timezone is GMT.

When you apply this directive, you will see a new column called pubDate_1 containing a Date object. You can delete the pubDate column and rename this new column to pubDate.

Cleaning the Author Names

Finally, all the author names are uppercase, such as KIRK SEMPLE. You would prefer to serve the names in a more professional format, i.e., Kirk Semple.

Choose the creator column. Apply Format > To TitleCase. You will see that all the author names have now been transformed into the proper title case.

Creating the Pipeline

Now that you have prepared your data, you can create a pipeline that will send records to the Brazil/Russia databases.

First, click Create Pipeline. Choose Batch Pipeline.

You will see the following pipeline appear on your screen.

Add two Avro Time Partitioned Dataset sinks to the canvas, as well as two Python (from the Transform menu).

Arrange the canvas in the format shown below.

You can align the nodes by clicking the Align button, which is the fourth option from the top.

Open the top Python node configuration. Replace the pre-populated code with the following snippet:

def transform(record, emitter, context): if (record['category_content'] == 'Brazil'): emitter.emit(record)

This code will only pass a record to the sink if the category is tagged as 'Brazil'.

Change the Label to BrazilEvaluator and exit out of the settings window.

Now, open the configuration for the sink that the BrazilEvaluator write to. Change the Label and Dataset Name both to BrazilSink.

Repeat the above process, for the other branch of the pipeline, replacing Brazil with Russia.

Name the pipeline NewYorkTimesPipeline by clicking on the Name your pipeline text on the top of the page and entering the title.

Your pipeline should now look like the image below.

Once you deploy your pipeline, you can no longer edit the nodes or settings. Thus, you want to ensure that you data flow works as intended before you deploy the pipeline.

To do so, click Preview:

When you click Run, you will see that the timer will begin tracking how long the pipeline has run. When it completes, you can see the records that have passed through each node. For example, clicking on the BrazilEvaluator, you can see that only records matching Brazil have passed:

You can now click Deploy and the run the deployed pipeline.

Querying the Results

You can click on the BrazilSink to view the configuration, and select View Details in the upper right hand corner.

When the dataset page opens, click the eye icon in the upper right hand corner. Click Execute the window that appears. When the query executes, click the eye icon to view a subset of the results.

Congratulations! You have cleaned New York Times XML data, split it according to geographic region, and written to two databases.

Created in 2020 by Google Inc.