Vicki1227 Vicki1227 - 3 months ago 10
R Question

R read.csv "More columns than column names" error

I have a problem when importing

.csv
file into R. With my code:

t <- read.csv("C:\\N0_07312014.CSV", na.string=c("","null","NaN","X"),
header=T, stringsAsFactors=FALSE,check.names=F)


R reports an error and does not do what I want:

Error in read.table(file = file, header = header, sep = sep, quote = quote, :
more columns than column names


I guess the problem is because my data is not well formatted. I only need data from
[,1:32]
. All others should be deleted.

Data can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B86_a8ltyoL3VXJYM3NVdmNPMUU/edit?usp=sharing

Thanks so much!

Answer

That's one wonky CSV file. Multiple headers tossed about (try pasting it to CSV Fingerprint) to see what I mean.

Since I don't know the data, it's impossible to be sure the following produces accurate results for you, but it involves using readLines and other R functions to pre-process the text:

# use readLines to get the data
dat <- readLines("N0_07312014.CSV")

# i had to do this to fix grep errors
Sys.setlocale('LC_ALL','C')

# filter out the repeating, and wonky headers
dat_2 <- grep("Node Name,RTC_date", dat, invert=TRUE, value=TRUE)

# turn that vector into a text connection for read.csv
dat_3 <- read.csv(textConnection(paste0(dat_2, collapse="\n")),
                  header=FALSE, stringsAsFactors=FALSE)

str(dat_3)
## 'data.frame':    308 obs. of  37 variables:
##  $ V1 : chr  "Node 0" "Node 0" "Node 0" "Node 0" ...
##  $ V2 : chr  "07/31/2014" "07/31/2014" "07/31/2014" "07/31/2014" ...
##  $ V3 : chr  "08:58:18" "08:59:22" "08:59:37" "09:00:06" ...
##  $ V4 : chr  "" "" "" "" ...
## .. more
##  $ V36: chr  "" "" "" "" ...
##  $ V37: chr  "0" "0" "0" "0" ...

# grab the headers
headers <- strsplit(dat[1], ",")[[1]]

# how many of them are there?
length(headers)
## [1] 32

# limit it to the 32 columns you want (Which matches)
dat_4 <- dat_3[,1:32]

# and add the headers
colnames(dat_4) <- headers

str(dat_4)
## 'data.frame':    308 obs. of  32 variables:
##  $ Node Name         : chr  "Node 0" "Node 0" "Node 0" "Node 0" ...
##  $ RTC_date          : chr  "07/31/2014" "07/31/2014" "07/31/2014" "07/31/2014" ...
##  $ RTC_time          : chr  "08:58:18" "08:59:22" "08:59:37" "09:00:06" ...
##  $ N1 Bat (VDC)      : chr  "" "" "" "" ...
##  $ N1 Shinyei (ug/m3): chr  "" "" "0.23" "null" ...
##  $ N1 CC (ppb)       : chr  "" "" "null" "null" ...
##  $ N1 Aeroq (ppm)    : chr  "" "" "null" "null" ...
## ... continues
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