VegaLite.jl accepts data to be plotted in a variety of different formats and provides a number of different ways to reference that data. The most typical way to plot data is that you have your data in some Julia data structure, and then add this data to the Vega-Lite specification itself for plotting. As an alternative, Vega-Lite also accepts URLs that point to data sources either on disc or on the web for plotting. Data that you want to plot will typically be in a tabular form. You can also directly pass vectors with data.

Inline data

Any Julia data structure that supports the iterable tables interface from the TableTraits.jl package can be used as an inline data source with VegaLite.jl. In practice that covers most tabular data structures in the Julia ecosystem: DataFrames.jl, JuliaDB.jl, IndexedTables.jl, various file IO packages (CSVFiles.jl, FeatherFiles.jl, ExcelFiles.jl, StatFiles.jl, ParquetFiles.jl) and any Query.jl result that has a tabular form.

There are two ways to add an inline data source to a Vega-Lite plot: 1) by piping the data source into a plot, or 2) by using the data keyword from within a @vlplot call.

Piping inline data

Any tabular data can be piped into a plot by using the |> operator. For example, to create a scatter plot of a DataFrame called df you can pipe that DataFrame into a specification like this:

df |> @vlplot(:point, x=:a, y=:b)

As mentioned above, you are not restricted to piping DataFrames into a plot, but can in fact plot any iterable table. The following example loads some data from a CSV file using CSVFiles.jl, filters it with Query.jl and then plots it with VegaLite.jl:

load("my_data.csv") |> @filter(_.a>30) |> @vlplot(:point, x=:a, y=:b)

Using inline data with the data keyword

You can also specify the inline data for a plot by using the standard data keyword from the Vega-Lite language. The following example creates a plot based on a DataFrame named df:

@vlplot(:point, data=df, x=:a, y=:b)

This method also accepts any iterable table.

Directly passing vectors of data

You can also pass vectors of data directly to encoding channels. For example, to create a line plot with ten random values, you can write:

@vlplot(:line, x=1:10, y=randn(10))

Both 1:10 and randn(10) are AbstractVectors and can therefor be passed in this way. You can also pass vectors directly in cases where you want to specify more detail about an encoding channel:

@vlplot(:point, x=randn(10), y={randn(10), title="Some custom title"})

There are two requirements to keep in mind when you use this form of data passing: 1) all vectors you pass in this way need to have the same length, and 2) you cannot pass a data keyword if you use this way of constructing a plot.

Referencing external data

Sometimes it can be convenient to not embed the source data in the actual Vega-Lite specification, but instead just embed a link to some data in a file. Vega-Lite can read data in a variety of formats (CSV, TSV, JSON etc.), and you can again either pipe a reference into a plot or use the data keyword to specify an external link.

VegaLite.jl uses the URI type from the URIParser.jl package to represent URIs, and the FilePaths.jl package to represent filesystem paths. For example, to create a path, you can use the p string macro:

using FilePaths

path = p"folder/filename.csv"

The following example creates a URI instance:

using URIParser

uri = URI("")

Piping paths and URIs

Piping either a path or a URI into a Vega-Lite specification works the same way as piping inline data into a plot. You first have to create a path or URI, and then use the pipe operator |>. The following code shows examples of piping both a path and a URI into a plot:

# Piping a path into a plot

p"subfolder/myfile.csv" |> @vlplot(:point, x=:a, y=:b)

# Piping a URI into a plot

URI("") |> @vlplot(:point, x=:a, y=:b)

Using paths and URIs with the data keyword

You can directly pass a path or URI to the data keyword in a @vlplot call, similar to how you can pass inline data:

# Plotting data from a local file
@vlplot(:point, data=p"subfolder/file.csv", x=:a, y=:b)

# Plotting data from a URI
@vlplot(:point, data=URI(""), x=:a, y=:b)

Sometimes you need to specify additional configuration parameters for an external data source that are supported by the Vega-Lite specification. In that case you can also pass the path or URI instance to the url sub-key in the data part of a plot specification: