Python numpy loadtxt fails with date time

I am trying to use numpy loadtxt to load a csv file into an array. But it seem i can't get the date time correctly loaded.

Below demonstrates what is happening. Did I do something wrong?

>>> s = StringIO("05/21/2007,03:27")
>>> np.loadtxt(s, delimiter=",", dtype={'names':('date','time'), 'formats':('datetime64[D]', 'datetime64[m]')})
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/numpy/lib/", line 796, in loadtxt
items = [conv(val) for (conv, val) in zip(converters, vals)]
File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/numpy/lib/", line 573, in <lambda>
  return lambda x: int(float(x))
ValueError: invalid literal for float(): 05/21/2007


You need to also add converters, like:

from matplotlib.dates import strpdate2num
np.loadtxt(s, delimiter=",", converters={0:strpdate2num('%m/%d/%Y'), 1:...}, dtype= ...

When numpy sees your dtype format of datetime[64], it prepares to output a column of type numpy.datetime64. numpy.datetim64 is a subclass of numpy.integer, and loadtxt prepares to deal with that column as an integer with the following:

def _getconv(dtype):
    typ = dtype.type
    if issubclass(typ, np.bool_):
        return lambda x: bool(int(x))
    if issubclass(typ, np.uint64):
        return np.uint64
    if issubclass(typ, np.int64):
        return np.int64
    if issubclass(typ, np.integer):
        return lambda x: int(float(x))


When it gets to the point of attempting conversion at line 796 in numpyio:

items = [conv(val) for (conv, val) in zip(converters, vals)]

it tries to uselambda x: int(float(x)) to handle the input. When it does that, it tries to cast your date (05/27/2007) to a float and peters out. The conversion function strpdate2num above will convert the date to a number representation.

Trying MichealJCox's solution did not work for me. My version of numpy (1.8) would not accept a time number as given by strpdate2num('%m/%d/%Y'), it would only accept a date string or datetime object. Therefore, I used a more complex converter, which converts the time string to a time number and then to a datetime object usable by numpy :

from matplotlib.dates import strpdate2num, num2date
convert = lambda x: num2date(strpdate2num('%m/%d/%Y')(x))
np.loadtxt(s, delimiter=",", converters={0:convert}, dtype= ...

This seems like a bulky solution though.

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