Type a keyword into the input field, then click the Query button. Recent tweets that contain your keyword are pulled from Twitter and visualized in the Sentiment tab as circles. Hover your mouse over a tweet or click on it to see its text.
Tweets are visualized in different ways in each of the tabs at the top of the window.
To zoom in on the tweets in the Sentiment and Topic tabs, click the zoom icon to the right of the Query button. This displays a zoom lens that you can move around the visualization.
You can query multiple keywords at once, and combine keywords in different ways. For example, to search for tweets with the words "cat" and "dog", enter: cat dog. To search for tweets with the words "cat" or "dog", enter: cat OR dog. To search for tweets with the phrase "cat dog", enter: "cat dog". To search for tweets with the words "cat" but not "dog", enter: cat -dog.
We use a sentiment dictionary to estimate sentiment. We search each tweet for words in the dictionary, then combine the words' pleasure and arousal ratings to estimate sentiment for the entire tweet. When you hover your mouse over a tweet's circle to see its text, the words in our dictionary are shown in bold italics. You can click on a tweet's circle to bring up a dialog that gives even more information.
To learn more details about how our estimates work, take a look at the tweet visualization web page.