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Cleaning and Transforming Columns

Pandas DataFrame .info() Method

The pandas DataFrame method .info() displays a table of information for each column.
# Column Non-Null Count Dtype
0 index 72 non-null int64
1 Park 72 non-null object
2 Location 72 non-null object
3 AnnualPassPrice 72 non-null int64
  • # indicates the column index number
  • Column refers to the column name
  • Non-Null Count is the number of non-missing values in the column
  • DType is the column’s data type

Dropping Columns in a Pandas DataFrame

The pandas .drop() method is used to remove irrelevant columns from a DataFrame. This method has two keywords:

  • labels takes a list of column names to drop
  • axis=1 tells pandas we want to drop columns (not rows)
index Park Location
0 1 Great Smoky Mountains Gatlinburg, TN
1 2 Zion Springdale, UT
2 3 Yellowstone Jackson, WY

The code snippet drops the index column to produce

Park Location
0 Great Smoky Mountains Gatlinburg, TN
1 Zion Springdale, UT
2 Yellowstone Jackson, WY
# Drop the index column
drop_columns = ['index']
nationalparks.drop(labels=drop_columns, axis=1)

Renaming Columns in a Pandas DataFrame

index Park Year2019
0 1 Great Smoky Mountains 12547743
1 2 Zion 4488268
2 3 Yellowstone 4020288

The pandas .rename() method renames columns in a DataFrame. There are two particularly important keywords for .rename():

  • mapper takes a dictionary mapping the old column names (as keys) to the new column names (as values)
  • axis=1 tells pandas to rename the columns axis
# Rename the Park column to National Park
column_mapper = {'Park': 'National Park'}
parks.rename(mapper=column_mapper, axis=1)

Arithmetic Operators in Python

Python has built-in arithmetic operators for performing calculations, including

  • Addition (+),
  • Subtraction (-),
  • Multiplication (*)
  • Division (/)

Like mathematics, Python uses parentheses to control the order of operations in a calculation.

100 + 10
# Output: 110
100 - 10
# Output: 90
100 * 10
# Output: 1000
100 / 10
# Output: 10
(100 + 10) / (10)
# Output: 11.0

Rounding Numbers in Python

The round() function in Python rounds a number to a certain number of decimals using the following syntax:

round(numeric_variable, number_of_decimals)
pi = 3.14159
# Round pi to 4 decimals
round(pi, 4)
# Output: 3.1416

Pandas Column Calculations

In pandas, arithmetic operators like +, -, /, and * can be applied to all the rows of a column at once.

Here’s a sample DataFrame parks.

Park Area_SqMi
0 Great Smoky Mountains 816.3
1 Zion 229.1
2 Yellowstone 3468.4

The code snippet produces the following DataFrame:

Park Area_SqMi Area_SqKm
0 Great Smoky Mountains 816.3 2114.217
1 Zion 229.1 593.369
2 Yellowstone 3468.4 8983.156
# convert miles to km using column multiplication
parks['Area_SqKm'] = parks['Area_SqMi'] * 2.59

Splitting a Column in a Pandas DataFrame

The pandas method .str.split(pat='x', expand=True) will split the information in a text column into multiple columns using 'x' as a delimiter. Common delimiters include commas (,), colons (:), and dashes (-).

0 Gatlinburg, TN
1 Springdale, UT
2 Jackson, WY

The keyword argument expand=True creates a DataFrame containing the split information that can be accessed through pandas indexing.

0 1
0 Gatlinburg TN
1 Springdale UT
2 Jackson WY
# Split the Location column on the comma delimiter
parks['Location'].str.split(pat=',', expand=True)

Combining Columns in a Pandas DataFrame

The Series method combines text from two columns into a single string:

df['Combined'] = df['Column1']
  • .cat() places the text in Column2 after the text in Column1
  • sep=',' places a comma ',' after the text from Column1 and before the text from Column2
City State
0 Gatlinburg TN
1 Springdale UT
2 Jackson WY

The code snippet produces the following Location column:

0 Gatlinburg, TN
1 Springdale, UT
2 Jackson, WY
# Combine the `City` and `State` columns into a single column `Location`
parks['Location'] = parks['City']
sep=', ')

Transforming Text Columns in Pandas with .lower(), .upper(), and .title()

Pandas can alter text case using

  • .str.lower() - converts all text to lowercase
  • .str.upper() - converts all text to uppercase
  • .str.title() - converts all text to titles
0 Great Smoky Mountains
1 Zion
2 Yellowstone

Convert Park to lowercase and uppercase

Park .str.lower() .str.upper()
0 Great Smoky Mountains great smoky mountains GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
1 Zion zion ZION
2 Yellowstone yellowstone YELLOWSTONE
# Convert to lowercase
# Convert to uppercase

Find-and-Replace in Pandas

Before After
0 Great.Smoky.Mountains Great Smoky Mountains
3 Grand.Canyon Grand Canyon
4 Rocky.Mountain Rocky Mountain

The pandas method .str.replace() performs a find-and-replace on each row of a series. Every section of text that matches the string passed to pat will be replaced by the string passed to repl.

df['Column'] = df['Column'].str.replace(
# Replace periods '.' with spaces
parks['Park'] = parks['Park'].str.replace(
repl=' ',

Missing Data in Pandas

Missing or null values in a pandas DataFrame are often represented with a NaN value.

Park Location AnnualPassPrice
0 Great Smoky Mountains Gatlinburg, TN 40.0
1 Zion NaN 70.0
2 Yellowstone Jackson, WY NaN
  • Zion has a missing Location value
  • Yellowstone has a missing AnnualPassPrice value

Changing Data Types in Pandas

The pandas method .astype() converts the type of a column from one type to another. The new type is specified within the parentheses:

  • float64 for decimals
  • int64 for integers
  • object for text/objects
  • category for categorical data
Park Area
0 Great Smoky Mountains ‘816.3’
1 Zion ‘229.1’
2 Yellowstone ‘3468.4’
# Convert `Area` from object to float
parks['Area'] = parks['Area'].astype('float64')