Social media is becoming more and more prevalent in society, and is changing how we consume and think about current events. Perhaps the best platform for this use of social media is Twitter. Twitter is one of the best ways to receive real-time updates about developing news. For example, #Ferguson received over 7.8 million mentions in the nine days after the police shooting, and Ebola was tweeted about 10.5 million times in less than a month. By using social media to keep track of the news, we as citizens ‘cut out the middle man’ and look at how the world reacts to developing situations.

However, keeping up with live tweets on Twitter today is not an easy endeavor. The ‘list view’ that Twitter presents users with is hard to read thoroughly, poorly sorted by attributes, and just plain boring to read.

Our team has developed a web-app that makes it incredibly easy to view the stream of live tweets according to sentiment (positive, neutral, negative) against a map of the United States. The user of the app will first input a keyword. Each time there is a new public tweet containing the keyword, the tweet will be plotted on the map as a point. The number of points in any given location immediately tells the user whether the topic is popular in that area, and the color of the point informs the user of the sentiment of the text. Using our program, the user can easily get a sense of how the public feels about one topic or the other over time.

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