# Difference between map, applymap and apply methods in Pandas

Can you tell me when to use these vectorization methods with basic examples?

I see that `map`

is a `Series`

method whereas the rest are `DataFrame`

methods. I got confused about `apply`

and `applymap`

methods though. Why do we have two methods for applying a function to a DataFrame? Again, simple examples which illustrate the usage would be great!

Straight from Wes McKinney's Python for Data Analysis book, pg. 132 (I highly recommended this book):

Another frequent operation is applying a function on 1D arrays to each column or row. DataFrame’s apply method does exactly this:

```
In [116]: frame = DataFrame(np.random.randn(4, 3), columns=list('bde'), index=['Utah', 'Ohio', 'Texas', 'Oregon'])
In [117]: frame
Out[117]:
b d e
Utah -0.029638 1.081563 1.280300
Ohio 0.647747 0.831136 -1.549481
Texas 0.513416 -0.884417 0.195343
Oregon -0.485454 -0.477388 -0.309548
In [118]: f = lambda x: x.max() - x.min()
In [119]: frame.apply(f)
Out[119]:
b 1.133201
d 1.965980
e 2.829781
dtype: float64
```

Many of the most common array statistics (like sum and mean) are DataFrame methods, so using apply is not necessary.

Element-wise Python functions can be used, too. Suppose you wanted to compute a formatted string from each floating point value in frame. You can do this with applymap:

```
In [120]: format = lambda x: '%.2f' % x
In [121]: frame.applymap(format)
Out[121]:
b d e
Utah -0.03 1.08 1.28
Ohio 0.65 0.83 -1.55
Texas 0.51 -0.88 0.20
Oregon -0.49 -0.48 -0.31
```

The reason for the name applymap is that Series has a map method for applying an element-wise function:

```
In [122]: frame['e'].map(format)
Out[122]:
Utah 1.28
Ohio -1.55
Texas 0.20
Oregon -0.31
Name: e, dtype: object
```

Summing up, `apply`

works on a row / column basis of a DataFrame, `applymap`

works element-wise on a DataFrame, and `map`

works element-wise on a Series.

From: stackoverflow.com/q/19798153