R and ggplot- Changing x axis to Date removes position dodge

I've been using ggplot to create plots, and I always like to offset my data points horizontally so the error bars don't overlap. I've found that when I used Date data for my x axis, I loose the ability to offset my data points.

DF=data.frame(Date=c("2006-09-01", "2007-09-01", "2008-09-01" ,"2009-09-01", "2010-01-01" ,"2011-01-01"),Count=c(1,2,3,4,5,6,2,4,6,8,10,12),Type=c('A','A','A','A','A','A','B','B','B','B','B','B'))

If I plot the above data frame using ggplot like this, the points are offset


But if I designate the Date data as actual dates


The points are no longer offset, even though I specify them to be

I've avoided this problem in the past by keeping my date data limited to only "year" and treating it as numeric. But now I need to include month information (I include the day in my date since "as.Date gets a little funky if I don't include it).

So can anyone tell me if there is a way I can plot a time series using ggplot that will allow me to offset my data points and error bars.


Actually the points are dodged slightly.

You need to keep in mind that the interval between one year is 365 days. position_dodge(0.5) moves the point by (a half day)/2. So, the position moves 0.5/2/365 of one year interval.

If you choose `position_dodge(0.5 * 365), then you will get the plot as expected:

DF <- data.frame(
  expand.grid(Date=c("2006-09-01", "2007-09-01", "2008-09-01" ,"2009-09-01"),
     Type = c("A", "B")),
  Count = 1:4)
DF$Date2 <- as.Date(DF$Date)

ggplot(data=DF,aes(x=Date2,y=Count,group=Type))+ geom_point(position = position_dodge(365*0.5))

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