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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Scraping and visualising global vaccination recommendations with R...

As part of my job, I'm required to check the TravelHealthPro website which contains information about the recommended vaccinations when visiting other countries. For example, for a visit to Namibia, TravelHealthPro advises that most visitors have vaccinations to:
  • Hepatitis A
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid
When the Cardiff R User Group decided to discuss and work on web scraping, I decided to scrape the TravelHealthPro web site and prepare some maps with selected recommended vaccinations. 

Here are some of the world maps, I've prepared:



The script involved some webscraping, some data reformatting and then the visualisations. Here is all the R script involved in making these maps. It was originally prepared as separate scripts to keep it easier for me to understand but I have combined them all here in parts. 

For just the mapping part, it is possible to start halfway with a download from Github of the scraped data (as of April 26th, 2017). To do that start at Part 3.

Feedback welcome as always. 


# START SCRIPT
library("tools")  # uses the toTitleCase() function
library("rvest")  # tidyverse webscraping package
library("curl") 
library("RCurl")  # for downloading data from github
library("rworldmap")  # for the maps

## PART 1: scrape the list of countries from TravelPro Home page
# scrape the page.
# this is the URL
url <- c("http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries")

# readLines() is a base R function which allows reading html from pages
data <- readLines(url)
print(paste(url, "has just been scraped"))

# identify where the proteins names are on the scraped data
country_numbers <- grep("travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/", data)
# 317 long... sounds like a good length

# function for removing html tags
# based on http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17227294/removing-html-tags-from-a-string-in-r
extractCountry <- function(htmlString) {
  htmlString <- gsub("<.*?>", "", htmlString)
  htmlString <- gsub("\t", "", htmlString)
  return(htmlString)
}

extractCountry(data[country_numbers[4]])

# function for extracting the url for each country
extractCountryUrl <- function(htmlString) {
  htmlString <- gsub("\\t<li><a href=", "", htmlString)
  htmlString <- gsub("</a></li>", "", htmlString)
  htmlString <- gsub("\"", "", htmlString)
  htmlString <- gsub(">.*", "", htmlString)
  return(htmlString)
}
# test the function
extractCountryUrl(data[country_numbers[7]])

# loop through the character vector and create a vector of countries
# and a vectors of URLs
countryList <- NULL
countryUrls <- NULL
for(i in 1:length(country_numbers)){
  reqd_url <- extractCountryUrl(data[country_numbers[i]])
  country <- extractCountry(data[country_numbers[i]])
  countryList <- c(countryList, country)
  countryUrls <- c(countryUrls, reqd_url)
}

# I have a list of countries and a list of URLs
countryList # up to 276 looks ok - Zimbabwe should be last
# truncate at Zimbabwe
zimb <- grep("Zimbabwe", countryList)
countryList <- countryList[1:zimb]
countryUrls <- countryUrls[1:zimb]


## PART 2: with list of countries, extract vaccination info... 
# I am attempting to scrape vaccinations recommendations
# from a Travel Health Pro website on a particular country.
# the example here is travel health pro page about afghanistan
# this is the page
# http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/1/afghanistan#Vaccine_recommendations

# scraping the webpage is all in this function
extractVacs <- function(x){
  # scrape the page  
  web_content <- read_html(curl(x, handle = new_handle("useragent" = "Chrome")))
  # handle is required as extra data and curl package is required too 
  print(paste(x, "has just been scraped"))
  
  # extracting the data using pipes 
  vac_list_most <- web_content %>% 
    html_node(".accordion") %>%     # Note this is html_node - first one (Most Travellers)
    html_nodes(".accordion-item")  %>%
    html_node("p") %>%
    html_text(trim = FALSE)
  
  vac_list_some <- web_content %>% 
    html_nodes(".accordion") %>%     # Note this is html_nodes - all vaccinations!
    html_nodes(".accordion-item")  %>%
    html_node("p") %>%
    html_text(trim = FALSE)
  
  # using gsub to remove the spaces and the line brake symbol
  vac_list_most <- gsub("\n", "", vac_list_most)
  vac_list_most <- gsub("  ", "", vac_list_most)
  vac_list_some <- gsub("\n", "", vac_list_some)
  vac_list_some <- gsub("  ", "", vac_list_some)
  
  #substract vac_list_most from vac_list_some
  vac_list_some <- setdiff(vac_list_some, vac_list_most)
  
  countryName <- gsub("http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/", "", x)
  countryName <- gsub("[[:digit:]]+", "", countryName)
  countryName <- gsub("/", "", countryName)
  countryName <- toTitleCase(countryName)
  
  # make the list with country name and the two vaccinations lists...
  vac_list <- list(country = countryName, vac_most = vac_list_most, vac_some = vac_list_some)
  
  # this works and returns a list. 
  return(vac_list)
}

# test the code
vac_list_example <- extractVacs(countryUrls[2])
vac_list_example
# works

# for demo purposes - just scrape four 
output_demo <- lapply(countryUrls[7:10], extractVacs)

# to scrape all the countries, remove the hash tag and run the whole thing
# output <- lapply(countryUrls, extractVacs)

# it's a good plan to save this file so that it doesn't have to be scraped again
# save(output, file = "vaccinationList_scraped20170426")
# and save the country list 
# save(countryList, file = "countryList_scraped20170426")

## PART 3: If you don't want to scrape the data - download it...

link <- "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/brennanpincardiff/RforBiochemists/master/data/countryList_scraped20170426.rda"
download.file(url=link, destfile="file.rda", mode="wb")
countryList <- readRDS("file.rda")

link <- "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/brennanpincardiff/RforBiochemists/master/data/vaccinationList_scraped20170426.rda"
download.file(url=link, destfile="file.rda", mode="wb")
output <- readRDS("file.rda")

# add "Ivory Coast" to the country List for future binding into rworldmap
countryList <- c(countryList, "Ivory Coast")
# add a new element to list with Ivory Coast 
ivory <- output[grep("Ivory", output)]
ivory[[1]]$country <- c("Ivory Coast")
ivory[[1]]
output <- c(output, ivory[1])  # just one square bracket N.B.

# so we have a list of vaccinations and countries that is 277 long

# have a list of 277 with the vaccinations in...
# and looks good. 

# next step - turn these two objects into something to do a visualiation. 

## PART 4: Clean up vaccinations list

# get the whole unique list of vaccinations/drugs is not trivial
# inconsistent labelling on the site

vac_req_mostTrav <- unique(unlist(lapply(output, '[[', 2)))
# white space issue for Hepatitis A

vac_req_someTrav <- unique(unlist(lapply(output, '[[', 3)))
# trailing white space and capitalisation issues for TBE
# "Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE)"
# "Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) "
# "Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)"
# "Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) " 


# apply toTitleCase and some gsubs in each element in output
for(i in 1:length(output)){
  output[[i]] <- lapply(output[[i]], toTitleCase)
  output[[i]]$country <- gsub("-", " ", output[[i]]$country)
  output[[i]]$vac_most <- gsub("Hepatitis a", "Hepatitis A", output[[i]]$vac_most)
  output[[i]]$vac_some <- gsub("Hepatitis a", "Hepatitis A", output[[i]]$vac_some)
  output[[i]]$vac_some <- gsub("Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) ", 
                               "Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE)", 
                               output[[i]]$vac_some)
}
# toTitleCase will change Hepatitis A to Hepatitis a so change it back...


## PART 5: Pull out countries with vaccinations we're interested in...
# want a data frame with country in one column
# then I want a column entitled Hep A, Polio etc...

vac_df <- data.frame(countryList, stringsAsFactors = FALSE)
colnames(vac_df) <- c("country")

# go through each element in the list (lapply)
# use a function to see if the vaccination I want is required...

# example: Polio
polioStatus <- lapply(1:length(output), function(x){"Polio" %in% output[[x]]$vac_most})
vac_df$polio <- unlist(polioStatus)
vac_df$polio_val <- as.numeric(vac_df$polio)

# Yellow Fever
yellFevStatus <- lapply(1:length(output), function(x){"Yellow Fever" %in% output[[x]]$vac_most})
vac_df$yellFev <- unlist(yellFevStatus)
vac_df$yellFev_val <- as.numeric(vac_df$yellFev)

# Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE)
tbeStatus <- lapply(1:length(output), function(x){"Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE)" %in% output[[x]]$vac_some})
vac_df$tbe <- unlist(tbeStatus)
vac_df$tbe_val <- as.numeric(vac_df$tbe)


## PART 6: join the data into the countries in rworldmap package
#join to a coarse resolution map
spdf <- joinCountryData2Map(vac_df, joinCode="NAME", nameJoinColumn="country")

# 211 codes from your data successfully matched countries in the map
# 66 codes from your data failed to match with a country code in the map
# 32 codes from the map weren't represented in your data

# where polio vaccination is recommended to most travellers 
mapCountryData(spdf, nameColumnToPlot="polio_val",
               catMethod="fixedWidth",
               addLegend = FALSE,
               mapTitle = "Polio Vaccination Recommended")
text(0,-90, "Source: http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/")

# where yellow fever vaccination is recommended to most travellers 
mapCountryData(spdf, nameColumnToPlot="yellFev_val",
               catMethod="fixedWidth",
               addLegend = FALSE,
               mapTitle = "Yellow Fever Vaccination Recommended")
text(0,-90, "Source: http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/")

# where Tick-Borne Encephalitis vaccination is recommended to some travellers
mapCountryData(spdf, nameColumnToPlot="tbe_val",
               catMethod="fixedWidth",
               addLegend = FALSE,
               mapTitle = "Tick-Borne Encephalitis \nVaccination Recommended (some travellers)")
text(0,-90, "Source: http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/")

# zoom on Africa for Yellow Fever data
mapCountryData(spdf, nameColumnToPlot="yellFev_val",
               catMethod="fixedWidth",
               mapRegion = "Africa",
               addLegend = FALSE,
               mapTitle = "Yellow Fever Vaccination Recommended")
text(10,-35, "Source: http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/")
## END SCRIPT

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