Multicomponent seismic recording contains a wealth of information. A major challenge is to distill this information into something manageable. Polarization analysis is a technique for simplifying the situation by extracting two simple measures: ellipticity and directionality. These measures can be obtained quickly from the data covariance matrices and are sufficient for data analysis or for the design of weighting functions for seismic wave-type selection. Data analysis using these measures may include the study of ellipticity to discern anisotropy and the use of ellipticity and directionality for a quick survey of the various wave types in the data. Applications of the related weighting functions include the removal of ground roll, the separation of converted waves or refractions, and the removal of out-of-plane arrivals.