By Deane Barker on September 29, 2006

Dapper: The Data Mapper: Dapper is pretty awesome. It’s essentially a graphical screen-scraping tool.

You can use Dapper to define common fields from any Web page, and Dapper will learn how to define those fields and help you extract the information from them. Then it will provide a URL to a Web service which you can use to continually get the data from these pages.

Watch the demo — they use Dapper to pick some information out of Digg and get it in a format they can use. All “Dapps” are (I think) public, so there are apparently thousands out there that people have made already. After 24 hours, they cannot be edited anymore, so you can count on them to continue working (provided the site owner doesn’t change his format).

This could be really handy in content management. Data migration is always a big problem, especially when the client has a deep Web site with a lot of content to come over. Screen-scaping has never been fun…until now. Dapp looks like a riot.