(* SUMMARY - In a Dataset holding DateList entries, how do I extract a minimum and maximum DateList value to pass into DateListPlot's PlotRange specification? See QUESTION further below *)

(* Sample dataset. Actual dataset is much larger. My goal is to create a time series animation where the PlotRange has fixed dimensions for the X/Y axis *)

aDataSet =Dataset[{
<|"aDate"-> { 2015,4,3,2,36,"24." },"aDuration"->5|>,
<|"aDate"-> { 2014,3,2,1,36,"24." },"aDuration"->4|>,
<|"aDate"-> { 2013,2,2,0,36,"24." },"aDuration"->3|>

(* PlotRange for aData *)

dateRange=Sort[aDataSet[[All,"aDate"]]]/@ {First,Last};

(* PlotRange for duration *)

durationRange = Sort[aDataSet[[All,"aDuration"]]]/@ {First,Last};

(* QUESTION - how should I compute dateRange such that it is a form that can be used in PlotRange for DateListPlot? Otherwise, the following will fail because the computed form of dateRange is a Dataset. DateListPlot is expecting a List whose values are the min and maximum dates for the x-axis *)

DateListPlot[aDataSet[[All,{"aDate", "aDuration"}]],Joined->False,
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    – bbgodfrey
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for taking a moment to re-formatting my inquiry to improve its readability! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


I think your running into trouble with those "24." as the last entry in your date list. That should be a number instead of a string.

aDataSet =Dataset[{
 <|"aDate"-> { 2015,4,3,2,36,24.},"aDuration"->5|>,
 <|"aDate"-> { 2014,3,2,1,36,24.},"aDuration"->4|>,
 <|"aDate"-> { 2013,2,2,0,36,24.},"aDuration"->3|>

With it as a number then the following would work.

aDataSet[All, "aDate", DateObject][{Max, Min}] // Normal

It gets All of the "aDate" values and converts them into DateObjects. The gets the Min and Max and takes it out of the dataset and into a regular list.

Hope this helps.

  • $\begingroup$ BINGO -- Thank you for catching the data typo ... but more importantly, your sample code here answered my issue -- thank you! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ @AChaseTurner you can also use MinMax instead of {Min, Max}, if you have 10.1. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you -- I am using 10.1 and MinMax works for me! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 23:57

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