Scala Maps (Map class examples)

Here's a quick look at how to use the Scala Map class, with a colllection of Map class examples.

The immutable Map class is in scope by default, so you can create an immutable map without an import, like this:

val states = Map("AL" -> "Alabama", "AK" -> "Alaska")

To create a mutable Map, import it first:

var states = scala.collection.mutable.Map("AL" -> "Alabama")

Adding, removing, and updating mutable Map elements

The following examples show how to add, remove, and update elements in a mutable Scala Map:

// create an empty map
var states = scala.collection.mutable.Map[String, String]()

// create a map with initial elements
var states = scala.collection.mutable.Map("AL" -> "Alabama", "AK" -> "Alaska")

// add elements with +=
states += ("AZ" -> "Arizona")
states += ("CO" -> "Colorado", "KY" -> "Kentucky")

// remove elements with -=
states -= "KY"
states -= ("AZ", "CO")

// update elements by reassigning them
states("AK") = "Alaska, The Big State"

Iterating over Scala maps

Once you have a Map, you can iterate over it using several different techniques. I prefer using the for loop (or for comprehension):

scala> val m1 = Map("fname" -> "Al", "lname" -> "Alexander")

scala> for ((k,v) <- m1) printf("key: %s, value: %s\n", k, v)
key: fname, value: Al
key: lname, value: Alexander

This page has some other Map and for loop examples, which I've reproduced here:

// version 1 (tuples)
m1 foreach (x => println (x._1 + "-->" + x._2))

// version 2 (foreach and case)
m1 foreach {case (key, value) => println (key + "-->" + value)}

You can choose whatever format you prefer.

A few more ways to iterate over a Scala Map

To demonstrate a more "real world" example of looping over a Scala Map, while I was working through some programming examples in the book, Programming Collective Intelligence, I decided to code them up in Scala.

To begin with, I defined my Scala Map like this:

val p1Ratings = Map("Lady in the Water"-> 3.0, 
                    "Snakes on a Plane"-> 4.0,
                    "You, Me and Dupree"-> 3.5)

In my case, when I'm iterating over the Map I'm really just interested in the Map keys, so the cleanest way to loop over every Map element is like this:

p1Ratings.keys.foreach( (movie) => 
  if (p2Ratings.contains(movie)) similarItems += (movie -> true)
)

While I chose that looping method in my code, I could also use the "tuples" approach, where movie is a Tuple, and I only use the first element of the Tuple, which happens to be my keys:

p1Ratings foreach ( (movie) => 
  if (p2Ratings.contains(movie._1)) similarItems += (movie._1 -> true)
)

In that approach, I ignore the second element of each Tuple, because I don't need it. (Which is why I don't like this approach for this instance.)

In a similar approach, I loop over the Map as shown next, creating a field named rating1 which I again don't use because I don't need it:

for ((movie1, rating1) <- p1Ratings) {
  if (p2Ratings.contains(movie1)) similarItems += (movie1 -> true)
}

These last two approaches will work better, and look a little more logical, if you need to access the key and value for each map element, but in my case, since I don't need to values, I'm using the first approach shown above.

Summary: Scala Map classes

In summary, I hope these Scala Map class examples have been helpful. As you can see, it's easy to create and use a Scala Map.

Share it!

There’s just one person behind this website; if this article was helpful (or interesting), I’d appreciate it if you’d share it. Thanks, Al.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Anonymous format

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <pre>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.