How to plot a very simple bar chart (Python, Matplotlib) using input *.txt file?


Question

I use Python 2.7 and matplotlib. I have a *.txt data file :

0 14-11-2003
1 15-03-1999
12 04-12-2012
33 09-05-2007
44 16-08-1998
55 25-07-2001
76 31-12-2011
87 25-06-1993
118 16-02-1995
119 10-02-1981
145 03-05-2014

first column of my file (numbers) should be on axis Y in my bar chart, and the second column from my file (dates) should be on axis OX in my histogram. I only know how to read the file:

OX = []
OY = []

try :
    with open('data.txt', 'r') as openedFile :
        for line in openedFile :
            tab = line.split()
            OY.append(int(tab[0]))
            OX.append(str(tab[1]))
except IOError :
    print("IOError!")

I did read a matplotlib docs but it still doesn't help me. I would also like to add dates I read to my bar chart, to make it look like

this

Could someone please help me?

1
25
7/23/2012 6:29:23 PM

Accepted Answer

You're talking about histograms, but this doesn't quite make sense. Histograms and bar charts are different things. An histogram would be a bar chart representing the sum of values per year, for example. Here, you just seem to be after bars.

Here is a complete example from your data that shows a bar of for each required value at each date:

import pylab as pl
import datetime

data = """0 14-11-2003
1 15-03-1999
12 04-12-2012
33 09-05-2007
44 16-08-1998
55 25-07-2001
76 31-12-2011
87 25-06-1993
118 16-02-1995
119 10-02-1981
145 03-05-2014"""

values = []
dates = []

for line in data.split("\n"):
    x, y = line.split()
    values.append(int(x))
    dates.append(datetime.datetime.strptime(y, "%d-%m-%Y").date())

fig = pl.figure()
ax = pl.subplot(111)
ax.bar(dates, values, width=100)
ax.xaxis_date()

You need to parse the date with strptime and set the x-axis to use dates (as described in this answer).

If you're not interested in having the x-axis show a linear time scale, but just want bars with labels, you can do this instead:

fig = pl.figure()
ax = pl.subplot(111)
ax.bar(range(len(dates)), values)

EDIT: Following comments, for all the ticks, and for them to be centred, pass the range to set_ticks (and move them by half the bar width):

fig = pl.figure()
ax = pl.subplot(111)
width=0.8
ax.bar(range(len(dates)), values, width=width)
ax.set_xticks(np.arange(len(dates)) + width/2)
ax.set_xticklabels(dates, rotation=90)
30
5/23/2017 12:03:09 PM

This code will do what you're looking for. It's based on examples found here and here.

The autofmt_xdate() call is particularly useful for making the x-axis labels readable.

import numpy as np
from matplotlib import pyplot as plt

fig = plt.figure()

width = .35
ind = np.arange(len(OY))
plt.bar(ind, OY, width=width)
plt.xticks(ind + width / 2, OX)

fig.autofmt_xdate()

plt.savefig("figure.pdf")

enter image description here


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