PySpark Convert DataFrame Columns to MapType (Dict)

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  • Post category:PySpark
  • Post last modified:November 7, 2023
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Problem: How to convert selected or all DataFrame columns to MapType similar to Python Dictionary (Dict) object

Solution: PySpark SQL function create_map() is used to convert selected DataFrame columns to MapType, create_map() takes a list of columns you wanted to convert as an argument and returns a MapType column.

Let’s create a DataFrame

from pyspark.sql import SparkSession
from pyspark.sql.types import StructType,StructField, StringType, IntegerType

spark = SparkSession.builder.appName('').getOrCreate()
data = [ ("36636","Finance",3000,"USA"), 
    ("34534","Sales",6500,"USA") ]
schema = StructType([
     StructField('id', StringType(), True),
     StructField('dept', StringType(), True),
     StructField('salary', IntegerType(), True),
     StructField('location', StringType(), True)

df = spark.createDataFrame(data=data,schema=schema)

This yields below output

 |-- id: string (nullable = true)
 |-- dept: string (nullable = true)
 |-- salary: integer (nullable = true)
 |-- location: string (nullable = true)

|id   |dept     |salary|location|
|36636|Finance  |3000  |USA     |
|40288|Finance  |5000  |IND     |
|42114|Sales    |3900  |USA     |
|39192|Marketing|2500  |CAN     |
|34534|Sales    |6500  |USA     |

Convert DataFrame Columns to MapType

Now, using create_map() SQL function let’s convert PySpark DataFrame columns salary and location to MapType.

#Convert columns to Map
from pyspark.sql.functions import col,lit,create_map
df = df.withColumn("propertiesMap",create_map(

This yields below output.

 |-- id: string (nullable = true)
 |-- dept: string (nullable = true)
 |-- propertiesMap: map (nullable = false)
 |    |-- key: string
 |    |-- value: string (valueContainsNull = true)

|id   |dept     |propertiesMap                    |
|36636|Finance  |[salary -> 3000, location -> USA]|
|40288|Finance  |[salary -> 5000, location -> IND]|
|42114|Sales    |[salary -> 3900, location -> USA]|
|39192|Marketing|[salary -> 2500, location -> CAN]|
|34534|Sales    |[salary -> 6500, location -> USA]|

Happy Learning !!

Naveen (NNK)

Naveen (NNK) is a Data Engineer with 20+ years of experience in transforming data into actionable insights. Over the years, He has honed his expertise in designing, implementing, and maintaining data pipelines with frameworks like Apache Spark, PySpark, Pandas, R, Hive and Machine Learning. Naveen journey in the field of data engineering has been a continuous learning, innovation, and a strong commitment to data integrity. In this blog, he shares his experiences with the data as he come across. Follow Naveen @ @ LinkedIn

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  1. Anonymous

    One of my columns is of type array and I want to include that in the map, but it is failing. How can I achieve this?