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Visualizing Maps of Reddit Comments with Atlas

In this cookbook, we show how to automate the extraction, processing, and mapping of Reddit comments using Python and Nomic Atlas. You can also view this cookbook on our github.

We'll use the Reddit API to fetch comments from this Reddit post URL, store the data in Nomic Atlas and create an Atlas map on the dataset to produce this visualization:

Getting Started


Before we begin, make sure you have:

  • Python (3.6 or higher) installed on your machine.
  • Reddit API credentials (client ID, client secret, user agent). You can obtain these from your Reddit developer account.
  • Nomic API key to access Nomic Atlas.

Install Required Libraries

Install the necessary Python libraries:

pip install pandas pyarrow praw nomic

Setting Up Environment Variables for Reddit and Nomic API Keys

To securely manage your Reddit API credentials and Nomic API key, follow these steps to set them up as environment variables:

  1. Reddit API Credentials:

    • Open your terminal or command prompt.
    • Set your Reddit client ID, client secret, and user agent as environment variables. Replace <your_client_id>, <your_client_secret>, and <your_user_agent> with your actual Reddit API credentials.
    export REDDIT_CLIENT_ID=<your_client_id>
    export REDDIT_CLIENT_SECRET=<your_client_secret>
    export REDDIT_USER_AGENT=<your_user_agent>
    • Alternatively, you can add these lines to your shell configuration file (e.g., .bashrc, .zshrc) to persist them across sessions.
  2. Nomic API Key:

    • Similarly, set your Nomic API key as an environment variable. Replace <your_nomic_api_key> with your actual Nomic API key.
    export NOMIC_API_KEY=<your_nomic_api_key>
    • Add this line to your shell configuration file to keep it persistent.
  3. Using the Environment Variables:

    • In your Python script, access these environment variables using os.getenv() function. For example:
    import os

    client_id = os.getenv('REDDIT_CLIENT_ID')
    client_secret = os.getenv('REDDIT_CLIENT_SECRET')
    user_agent = os.getenv('REDDIT_USER_AGENT')
    nomic_api_key = os.getenv('NOMIC_API_KEY')
    • This ensures your API credentials are securely managed without hardcoding them in your scripts.

Import Libraries

Next, let's include the required libraries at the top of your Python script:

import pandas as pd
import pyarrow as pa
from nomic import atlas
from prawcore.exceptions import PrawcoreException
import praw
import os

Helper Functions

Fetching Comments and Replies

Now, we'll define functions to fetch Reddit comments and their replies:

def scrape_reddit_comments(reddit: praw.Reddit, submission: praw.models.reddit.submission.Submission) -> list:
# Function to scrape Reddit comments
max_attempts = 5
current_attempt = 0
while current_attempt < max_attempts:
time.sleep(1) # Add a delay between replace_more() calls
comments = fetch_all_comments(submission)
print(f"Number of comments fetched: {len(comments)}")
return comments
except PrawcoreException as e:
if e.response and e.response.status_code == 429:
delay = 2 ** current_attempt
print(f"Rate limit exceeded. Retrying in {delay} seconds...")
current_attempt += 1
print(f"Error scraping comments: {e}")
return []

print("Max retry attempts reached. Could not fetch comments.")
return []

def fetch_all_comments(submission: praw.models.reddit.submission.Submission) -> list:
# Function to fetch all comments from a Reddit submission
comments = []
for comment in submission.comments.list():
comment_data = {
'text': comment.body,
'author': if else '[deleted]',
'score': comment.score,
'depth': comment.depth,
'created_utc': comment.created_utc
return comments

def fetch_replies(comment: praw.models.reddit.comment.Comment) -> list:
# Function to fetch replies to a Reddit comment
replies = []
if isinstance(comment, praw.models.reddit.comment.Comment):
if hasattr(comment, 'replies') and isinstance(comment.replies, praw.models.comment_forest.CommentForest):
for reply in comment.replies.list():
reply_data = {
'text': reply.body,
'author': if else '[deleted]',
'score': reply.score,
'depth': reply.depth,
'created_utc': reply.created_utc
return replies

def comments_to_arrow_table(comments: list) -> pa.Table:
# Function to convert comments into an Arrow Table for efficient data handling
df = pd.DataFrame(comments)
arrow_table = pa.Table.from_pandas(df)
return arrow_table

Main Function

Now, let's walk through the main function that orchestrates the entire process:

def main():
# Function to automate Reddit comment mapping with Nomic Atlas

# Retrieve Reddit API credentials and Nomic API key from environment variables
client_id = os.getenv('REDDIT_CLIENT_ID')
client_secret = os.getenv('REDDIT_CLIENT_SECRET')
user_agent = os.getenv('REDDIT_USER_AGENT')
reddit_url = input("Enter Reddit post URL: ")
nomic_api_key = os.getenv('NOMIC_API_KEY')

# Initialize Reddit instance
reddit = get_reddit_instance(client_id, client_secret, user_agent)
submission = reddit.submission(url=reddit_url)

# Scrape Reddit comments
comments = scrape_reddit_comments(reddit, submission)
arrow_table = comments_to_arrow_table(comments)

map_name = f"[Reddit Comment Thread] {submission.title}"

# Map data using Nomic Atlas
dataset = atlas.map_data(data=arrow_table,
description='Reddit comments mapped via automation.',
if dataset and 'id' in dataset:
print("Map created on Atlas with ID:", dataset['id'])
print("All done! Visit the map link to see the status of your map build.")
print("Map creation failed. Dataset ID not found in response.")
except Exception as e:
print(f"An error occurred while building map on Atlas: {e}")

def get_reddit_instance(client_id: str, client_secret: str, user_agent: str) -> praw.Reddit:
# Function to create a Reddit instance
reddit = praw.Reddit(
return reddit

if __name__ == "__main__":

Now run the script and see your data come to life!