[R] help building dataset

R. Michael Weylandt michael.weylandt at gmail.com
Mon Jul 23 21:27:14 CEST 2012

Weren't you told to take a look at read.table() (both the function
help and the manual describing it)?

If the rows correspond in each data file, something like

do.call(cbind, lapply(dir(), read.table))

will possibly align the results of read.table()-ing each file in your

To parse that further:

dir() gives a list of all files in the directory.

lapply( x, FUN) takes a set of values (x) and does FUN to them. Here
it would read.table() on each file name.

do.call(cbind, x) will call the cbind() function on the results of
lapply(). It's sort of like doing cbind(x[1], x[2], x[3], ...) but
doesn't require as much typing or you to know how many columns are
going in.


On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 1:32 PM, walcotteric <walcott3 at msu.edu> wrote:
> I'm having trouble building a dataset. I'm working with Census data from
> Brazil, and the particular set I'm trying to get into right now is a
> microdata sample which has 4 data files that are saved at .txt files full of
> numbers. The folder also has  lot of excel sheets and other text files
> describing the data, and (I'm assuming) to help organize everything.
> Unfortunately there isn't much help in the description about how to
> construct the dataset and avoid messing things up (since its Census data, I
> need to make sure I avoid associating data with the wrong city/state, etc.).
> I basically just need to be able to put the data in readable format, because
> there's literally 1 variable in the set that I can't find anywhere else and
> need to get at for some analysis. However, when I've tried to get the data
> straight into R (copy from NotePad), it overloads R, and R stops responding.
> Any suggestions? Or, if there isn't enough information about the set to be
> helpful, what else do you need to know?
> Or if you'd like to take a look at the data let me know and I can attach it.
> Thanks!
> --
> View this message in context: http://r.789695.n4.nabble.com/help-building-dataset-tp4637491.html
> Sent from the R help mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

More information about the R-help mailing list