Lit up with Emotion

City sentiment lamp

How is your city feeling? Chadwick Friedman of the University of Denver wanted to find out, and also to design an interesting medium through which to express his results. He turned to Twitter for his information—by tracking what people were tweeting, he figured that he could deduce how they were feeling. To display his Twitter data, he 3D-printed a lamp that changes color to represent Denver’s municipal mood.

Chadwick wrote a program that aggregates Tweets published within a specified time frame by Twitter users located within a 12-mile radius of the city, and then searches those Tweets for a set of emotion keywords that he has mapped to feelings of happiness, sorrow, or anger. He used Temboo’s Twitter Choreos to collect the Tweets and an Arduino Yún to control the lamp. When most of the aggregated Tweets contain happiness keywords, the Yún causes the lamp to glow green; sad Tweets turn the lamp blue, and angry Tweets make it red. You can see more of the lamp on Chadwick’s blog.