I have a Dataset ds with a straightforward tabular structure containing one column Date whose values are DateObjects, and a number of other columns of real-valued numbers.

I can plot the value of one of these columns using:


This plots the values in Column1 against an X-axis using the dates from Date as expected:


How can I extend this behaviour to display lines for more than one column?



results in:

DateListPlot: Unable to automatically determine horizontal coordinates for the given data and DataRange.


DateListPlot[ds[All,{"Date",#}]& /@ {"Column1","Column2"}]

DateListPlot: { Dataset[<<150>>] , Dataset[<<150>>] } is not a valid dataset or list of datasets.

Is there an adjustment to either of these input approaches that will fix the flaws in my approach, or if not how can this be achieved?

  • $\begingroup$ DateListPlot[{ds1, ds2}] $\endgroup$ Jul 20 '17 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ ds[All, {"Date", {"c1", "c2"}}] // DateListPlot[#, Joined -> False]&? $\endgroup$
    – kglr
    Jul 20 '17 at 18:10

The query ds[All,{"Date","Column1"}] returns a list of associations whose values represent date-value pairs. The query ds[All, "Date", "Column1", "Column2"}] returns a list of associations with multiple values for each date. DateListPlot will accept the first format, but not the second.

To plot multiple series, we must reformat the data into a shape that is acceptable to DateListPlot. For example, we could generate multiple lists of date-value pairs:

ds[Transpose /* DateListPlot, {{#Date, #Column1}, {#Date, #Column2}}&]


For discussion purposes, we will define a sample dataset:

ds = Range[5] // Query[Dataset
     , <| "date" -> (DatePlus["2005-01-01", {#, "Year"}]&)
        , "v1" -> Sin
        , "v2" -> Cos
        , "v3" -> Sec|>

sample dataset

As noted in the question, we can plot a single column of values easily:

ds[DateListPlot, {"date", "v1"}]

single column plot

but the same technique fails for multiple columns:

ds[DateListPlot, {"date", "v1", "v2"}]

failure message

The reason is that DateListPlot can handle the date-value pairs that are returned by the first query:

ds[First /* Values, {"date", "v1"}] // Normal
(* <|"date" -> "Sun 1 Jan 2006 00:00:00", "v1" -> Sin[1]|> *)

But DateListPlot does not presently (V11.1) accept an association with more than one value per date as is returned by the second query:

ds[First, {"date", "v1", "v2"}] // Normal
(* <|"date" -> "Sun 1 Jan 2006 00:00:00", "v1" -> Sin[1], "v2" -> Cos[1]|> *)

To plot multiple columns, we must reshape the data to conform to one of the formats acceptable to DateListPlot. For example, it will accept multiple lists of date-values pairs:

ds[Transpose /* DateListPlot, {{#date, #v1}, {#date, #v2}, {#date, #v3}} &]

multi-column plot


ds[(Query[All, {"date", #} /* Values] & /@ {"v1", "v2", "v3"}) /* DateListPlot]

In both queries we had to take care that the date-value pairs were lists -- not associations. This is due to another limitation of DateListPlot. While DateListPlot will accept a single set of associations containing date-value pairs, it cannot presently handle a list of such sets. We must convert the associations to lists to work around this restriction.

  • $\begingroup$ How to add Plotstyle,PlotLabel etc, I tried DateListPlot[Plotstyle->...] but failed $\endgroup$
    – fairytale
    Mar 28 '20 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @fairytale Use (DateListPlot[#, PlotLabel -> "My Plot"] &). The parentheses are important. $\endgroup$
    – WReach
    Mar 28 '20 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ @WReach, I have this dataset (csv file in the post and d is the dataset imported using the code shown in the post.). When I tried your method of DateListPlot on my data. Unfortunately, d[DateListPlot, {1, 2}] or DateListPlot@d[All, {1, 2}] did not work for me and returned the same error of Horizontal coordinate…. While DateListPlot@d[{1;;-1}, {1, 2}] worked. Could you please help me out here? Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Bemtevi77
    Apr 20 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Bemtevi77 DateListPlot has complicated set of rules for parsing the data argument... it must handle lists, lists of lists, wrapper objects and so on. It uses heuristics to determine how to interpret the data and I think that the combination of associations containing dimensioned quantities is confusing it (bug?). When we wrap an extra list around the data (as per your working example) then the possibilities are narrowed and it correctly parses out the date and value elements. Other alternatives: d[DateListPlot[{#}] &], d[List/*DateListPlot]. $\endgroup$
    – WReach
    Apr 20 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @WReach Thank you very much for the explanation. I thought that was a bug. $\endgroup$
    – Bemtevi77
    Apr 21 at 6:27
 ds = Dataset[{
    <|"Date" -> DateObject[{2016, 6, 28}], "c1" -> 10, "c2" -> 30, "c3" -> 0|>,
    <|"Date" -> DateObject[{2016, 6, 29}], "c1" -> 20, "c2" -> 20, "c3" -> 30|>,
    <|"Date" -> DateObject[{2016, 6, 30}], "c1" -> 30, "c2" -> 10, "c3" -> 0|>}]

enter image description here

 Values @ Normal @ ds[All, {"Date", #}] & /@ {"c1", "c2", "c3"},
 PlotMarkers -> Automatic,
 PlotLegends -> {"c1", "c2", "c3"}]

enter image description here

cplot[d_Dataset, c_?VectorQ] :=
  Values @ Normal @ d[All, {"Date", #}] & /@ c,
  PlotMarkers -> Automatic,
  PlotLegends -> c]

cplot[ds, {"c1", "c3"}]

enter image description here


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