Inspiration

Massage parlours and spas might deceptively advertise on asian job posting boards for women to come work for them. The women might think they are going to work as a cleaner, a housekeeper, or even a legitimate masseuse. Investigators would find a tool to link parlours to their job ads useful.

What it does

A scraper pulls data from 'rubmaps.ch' to build up profiles of massage parlours and spas. Another scraper does the same for the Asian job site 'meimin.us', which posts ads in traditional Chinese. Ads are linked to the parlours using phone numbers, and the results are show in a web tool. Investigators can choose a massage parlour to see details about the business, as well as a sample of ads. A map shows where the parlour is located.

How we built it

Used scrapy to collect data from rubmaps and meimin, stored the results as JSON files. Used R to import the data and clean it up, to join them together. Then created a shiny front end to allow the user to select one of the parlours for more detailed investigation. Used Watson Translation API to translate from Chinese to English, and Here maps to show the location of the parlours.

Challenges we ran into

Lack of familiarity with the tools slowed development time. Did not get to integrate with D&B. Lack of UI skills did not help.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Used two of the APIs.

What we learned

There are a number of parlours that have indeed advertised on Asian job ad boards.

What's next for Massage Parlour Investigator

Like to integrate D&B, and other datasources like Backpage, Eccie, and Craigslist

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