Parsing XML with namespace in Python via ‘ElementTree’

You need to give the .find(), findall() and iterfind() methods an explicit namespace dictionary:

namespaces = {'owl': ''} # add more as needed

root.findall('owl:Class', namespaces)

Prefixes are only looked up in the namespaces parameter you pass in. This means you can use any namespace prefix you like; the API splits off the owl: part, looks up the corresponding namespace URL in the namespaces dictionary, then changes the search to look for the XPath expression {}Class instead. You can use the same syntax yourself too of course:


Also see the Parsing XML with Namespaces section of the ElementTree documentation.

If you can switch to the lxml library things are better; that library supports the same ElementTree API, but collects namespaces for you in .nsmap attribute on elements and generally has superior namespaces support.

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