This tool scrapes student photos from Rensselear’s Student Information System (SIS) portal that allows instructors to access the current and past course registration and information (including photos) for the students in these courses.
Unfortunately, the RPI SIS portal does not allow the instructor to bulk download all student photos. Thus we have created the following command line tool to do so.
This tool will download the photos of students in the selected terms/courses/sections into folders and name the photos with their usernames/RCS IDs.
We welcome others to adapt or generalize this tool for use at other institutions.
Install Python 3
Install PIP, the Python package manager
Windows 10: step-by-step instructions
Install Selenium (in terminal/command prompt)
Note: On Windows, make sure to run cmd as administrator.
pip3 install selenium
On Windows: Download chromedriver.exe and put it in C:\Windows
On MacOS: (in terminal/command prompt)
brew install chromedriver
Note: Make sure Chrome browser, Chromedriver, and Selenium are all up-to-date.
Install requests (in terminal/command prompt)
pip3 install requests
If you’re using an older version of Python 3 (< Python 3.4), you may need to install requests[security].
pip3 install requests[security]
Save the file in a convenient location. Then Double-click or run the python file in terminal/command prompt in the directory the file is located:
This will prompt the user to type in responses on the command-line.
Example Photo Scraping
Login to SIS
RIN: 666555444 PIN: Submitty
Select a Semester or Summer Session
Here are the following Semester/Summer Sessions: Fall 2018 Summer 2018 Spring 2018 Fall 2017 Summer 2017 Spring 2017 Select a term( or Exit to terminate ): Fall 2017
Exit will terminate the program. Invalid sessions would prompt user again.
Asks user if they want pictures from certain course section (not case-sensitive)
- If Y, then it will start scraping the photos from SIS.
- If N, then it will move to next course and ask if user wants pictures.
- If Exit, then it will terminate the program.
- The program will end if there are no more courses.
Do you want pictures from CSCI 1200 01: DATA STRUCTURES, 45909 (32)? Y/N/Exit N Do you want pictures from CSCI 1200 02: DATA STRUCTURES, 43234 (30)? Y/N/Exit Y Do you want pictures from CSCI 1200 03: DATA STRUCTURES, 45374 (34)? Y/N/Exit Exit
For Y, all the photos will be downloaded to their respective session/course_section folders in the current directory the RPI_SIS_Photo_Scraper.py file is located. In this example, the folders the photos would be downloaded to is Fall-2017/CSCI-1200-02.