Rosa Rosa - 3 months ago 23
R Question

How to parse XML to R data frame

I tried to parse XML to R data frame, this link helped me a lot:

how to create an R data frame from a xml file

But still I was not able to figure out my problem:

Here is my code:

data <- xmlParse("http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=29.803&lon=-82.411&FcstType=digitalDWML")
xmlToDataFrame(nodes=getNodeSet(data1,"//data"))[c("location","time-layout")]
step1 <- xmlToDataFrame(nodes=getNodeSet(data1,"//location/point"))[c("latitude","longitude")]
step2 <- xmlToDataFrame(nodes=getNodeSet(data1,"//time-layout/start-valid-time"))
step3 <- xmlToDataFrame(nodes=getNodeSet(data1,"//parameters/temperature"))[c("type="hourly"")]


The data frame I want to have is like this:

latitude longitude start-valid-time hourly_temperature
29.803 -82.411 2013-06-19T15:00:00-04:00 91
29.803 -82.411 2013-06-19T16:00:00-04:00 90


I'm stuck at the xmlToDataFrame, Any help would be very much appreciated, thanks.

Answer

Data in XML format are rarely organized in a way that would allow the xmlToDataFrame function to work. You're better off extracting everything in lists and then binding the lists together in a data frame:

require(XML)
data <- xmlParse("http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=29.803&lon=-82.411&FcstType=digitalDWML")

xml_data <- xmlToList(data)

In the case of your example data, getting location and start time is fairly straightforward:

location <- as.list(xml_data[["data"]][["location"]][["point"]])

start_time <- unlist(xml_data[["data"]][["time-layout"]][
    names(xml_data[["data"]][["time-layout"]]) == "start-valid-time"])

Temperature data is a bit more complicated. First you need to get to the node that contains the temperature lists. Then you need extract both the lists, look within each one, and pick the one that has "hourly" as one of its values. Then you need to select only that list but only keep the values that have the "value" label:

temps <- xml_data[["data"]][["parameters"]]
temps <- temps[names(temps) == "temperature"]
temps <- temps[sapply(temps, function(x) any(unlist(x) == "hourly"))]
temps <- unlist(temps[[1]][sapply(temps, names) == "value"])

out <- data.frame(
  as.list(location),
  "start_valid_time" = start_time,
  "hourly_temperature" = temps)

head(out)
  latitude longitude          start_valid_time hourly_temperature
1    29.81    -82.42 2013-06-19T16:00:00-04:00                 91
2    29.81    -82.42 2013-06-19T17:00:00-04:00                 90
3    29.81    -82.42 2013-06-19T18:00:00-04:00                 89
4    29.81    -82.42 2013-06-19T19:00:00-04:00                 85
5    29.81    -82.42 2013-06-19T20:00:00-04:00                 83
6    29.81    -82.42 2013-06-19T21:00:00-04:00                 80