How do I access an item in a list of lists in GEE?

I know that using the method get() returns the element at the specified position in list. But the result of list.get(0) is [1, 2, 3], and I want the first element of each list in the list.

var list = ee.List([
  [1, 2, 3],
  [2, 4, 5],
  [3, 4, 5]

1 Answer 1


Usually when you want to do something with each item in a list, you use map. In this case since you want the first element, you put .get(0) inside the map function.

var list = ee.List([[1, 2, 3], [10, 20, 30], [100, 200, 300]]);

print(list.map(function (innerList) {
  return ee.List(innerList).get(0);

// Prints: [1,10,100]

This example contains ee.List(innerList).get(0) instead of innerList.get(0) because the map doesn't know that every element of list is a list — this cast is necessary in most cases when you map over a list to specify the expected type so you can call .get or other specific method on it.

  • Thanks, Kevin for your help. I'm trying to calculate precipitation accumulation. I have created a function whose entry is a list of lists that contain the year, start_day and end_day. To apply this function over the list, I used .map as you comment before. But I am finding different errors: The first one is .map is not a function and when I try to fix it I find another error of Invalid type. This is the link to my code: code.earthengine.google.com/7460981e0f6e7c99e4c36f0507383cfa Thanks in advance for your help. Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 9:14
  • 2
    @NataliaQuintero As I wrote in my answer, you must use ee.List to cast the element inside of the mapping function. In that case, you can do it by adding list_of_sequence = ee.List(list_of_sequence); as the first line of the function cumPr_of_each_year.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 14:50

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