Most StatCan tables are small in size and can easily processed in
memory. However, some tables are so large that this is not a feasible
43-10-0024 is one such example and comes
with a CSV file that is several gigabytes in size. In cases like this it
is more useful to store and access the data as an SQLite database using
get_cansim_sqlite function instead of the usual
get_cansim. In these circumstances it is also useful to
cache the data for longer than just the current R session, and the
data_cache option allows to specify a permanent location.
It defaults to
getOption("cansim.cache_path"), and if this
option is not set it will only cache the data for the duration of the
For this vignette we use the (rather small) motor vehicle sales data as an example.
One main difference to the
get_cansim method is that
get_cansim_sqlite does not return data but only a
connection to the database. This allows us to filter the data before
fetching the data into memory. When this is called the first time it
will fetch the data, parse it into an SQLite database, index the main
columns. This can take a significant amount of time, depending on the
size of the table. In any subsequent call it will simply open a database
connection to the cached database.
connection <- get_cansim_sqlite("20-10-0001") #> Accessing CANSIM NDM product 20-10-0001 from Statistics Canada #> Parsing data #> Indexing GEO #> Indexing Vehicle type #> Indexing Origin of manufacture #> Indexing Sales #> Indexing Seasonal adjustment #> Indexing REF_DATE #> Indexing DGUID #> Indexing GeoUID
We can inspect the data by looking at the first few columns to get a general idea of what the data looks like.
head(connection) #> # Source: SQL [6 x 19] #> # Database: sqlite 3.41.2 [/private/var/folders/z4/gcjq2cd93p3bs5bgp8j2vv240000gp/T/RtmpmLlZYb/cansim_20100001_eng/20100001-eng.sqlite] #> REF_DATE GEO DGUID `Vehicle type` Origin of manufactur…¹ Sales #> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> #> 1 1946-01 Canada 2016A000011124 Total, new motor … Total, country of man… Units #> 2 1946-01 Canada 2016A000011124 Total, new motor … Total, country of man… Doll… #> 3 1946-01 Canada 2016A000011124 Passenger cars Total, country of man… Units #> 4 1946-01 Canada 2016A000011124 Passenger cars Total, country of man… Units #> 5 1946-01 Canada 2016A000011124 Passenger cars Total, country of man… Doll… #> 6 1946-01 Canada 2016A000011124 Trucks Total, country of man… Units #> # ℹ abbreviated name: ¹`Origin of manufacture` #> # ℹ 13 more variables: `Seasonal adjustment` <chr>, UOM <chr>, UOM_ID <chr>, #> # SCALAR_FACTOR <chr>, SCALAR_ID <chr>, VECTOR <chr>, COORDINATE <chr>, #> # VALUE <dbl>, STATUS <chr>, SYMBOL <chr>, TERMINATED <chr>, DECIMALS <chr>, #> # GeoUID <chr>
To make good use of the data we will have to look at the metadata and
inspect the member columns and variables available. The metadata will be
available in the R session after the database connection has been
opened. Trying to access the metadata before the connection has been
opened will result in the package to attempt to download the data via
get_cansim call, which the
get_cansim_sqlite function is trying to avoid.
get_cansim_table_overview("20-10-0001") #> New motor vehicle sales #> CANSIM Table 20-10-0001 #> Start Reference Period: 1946-01-01, End Reference Period: 2023-07-01, Frequency: Monthly #> #> Column Geography (11) #> Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Territories, ... #> #> Column Vehicle type (3) #> Passenger cars, Trucks, Total, new motor vehicles #> #> Column Origin of manufacture (5) #> North America, Total, overseas, Japan, Other countries, Total, country of manufacture #> #> Column Sales (2) #> Units, Dollars #> #> Column Seasonal adjustment (2) #> Unadjusted, Seasonally adjusted
This gives us an understanding of the available variables. For the
purpose of this vignette we are interested in the breakdown of sales
units by Vehicle type in Canada overall. The data is stored in its raw
form in the database, the only processing done is that it is augmented
by the GeoUID. In order to work with it we need to
the data. If the only operation done is filtering, and no selection or
renaming of columns was done before accessing the data, we can utilize
collect_and_normalize function to collect and at
the same time normalize the data so it will appear the same way as if we
had used the
get_cansim function. This will add the
category and hierarchy metadata and the normalized value column.
data <- connection %>% filter(GEO=="Canada", `Seasonal adjustment`=="Unadjusted", Sales=="Units", `Origin of manufacture`=="Total, country of manufacture", `Vehicle type` %in% c("Passenger cars","Trucks")) %>% collect_and_normalize() data %>% head() #> # A tibble: 6 × 30 #> REF_DATE GEO DGUID UOM UOM_ID SCALAR_FACTOR SCALAR_ID VECTOR COORDINATE #> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr> #> 1 1946-01 Canada 2016A0… Units 300 "units " 0 v4216… 126.96.36.199.1 #> 2 1946-01 Canada 2016A0… Units 300 "units " 0 v4216… 188.8.131.52.1 #> 3 1946-02 Canada 2016A0… Units 300 "units " 0 v4216… 184.108.40.206.1 #> 4 1946-02 Canada 2016A0… Units 300 "units " 0 v4216… 220.127.116.11.1 #> 5 1946-03 Canada 2016A0… Units 300 "units " 0 v4216… 18.104.22.168.1 #> 6 1946-03 Canada 2016A0… Units 300 "units " 0 v4216… 22.214.171.124.1 #> # ℹ 21 more variables: VALUE <dbl>, STATUS <chr>, SYMBOL <chr>, #> # TERMINATED <chr>, DECIMALS <chr>, GeoUID <chr>, val_norm <dbl>, #> # Date <date>, `Hierarchy for GEO` <chr>, #> # `Classification Code for Vehicle type` <chr>, #> # `Hierarchy for Vehicle type` <chr>, #> # `Classification Code for Origin of manufacture` <chr>, #> # `Hierarchy for Origin of manufacture` <chr>, …
Given the data we can further filter the date range and plot it.
data %>% filter(Date>=as.Date("1990-01-01")) %>% ggplot(aes(x=Date,y=val_norm,color=`Vehicle type`)) + geom_smooth(span=0.2,method = 'loess', formula = y ~ x) + theme(legend.position="bottom") + scale_y_continuous(labels = function(d)scales::comma(d,scale=10^-3,suffix="k")) + labs(title="Canada new motor vehicle sales",caption="StatCan Table 20-10-0001", x=NULL,y="Number of units")
When we don’t need the database connection any more we should remember to close it. This frees up resources and keeps the database handlers happy.
Since we now have the option of a more permanent cache we should take
care to manage that space properly. The
list_cansim_sqlite_cached_tables function gives us an
overview over the cached data we have.
Cached data won’t update automatically, we will have to pass the
refresh=TRUE option to refresh it manually when we want a
fresh data pull from StatCan. If we want to free up disk space we can
remove a cached table.