1110: Click and Drag
|Click and Drag|
Title text: Click and drag.
This comic is a take on how vast and rich the world is, and on the thrill of exploring it. The world can be described as sad, as well as it can be described as wonderful, even if this seems a bit contradictory, just because there are so many different things happening in it.
Cueball comments about this, and the title text invites the reader to, with his mouse, click and drag the inside of the last panel, and by dragging and dragging, explore what is hidden outside that panel. The image displayed at first turns out to be part of a huge landscape, filled with big or small things, humorous details, people here and there, cave mazes, things floating in the air, jokes and references, unexpected things, relaxing views, etc. (The above image is not functional; you will have to visit the original comic.)
The fact that we only see a small part of the landscape at once refers to the idea that we cannot in real life comprehend the whole world altogether, but only what is around us and/or in the range of our understanding at the time. And the click-and-drag process, in which it is impossible to go as fast as we would want to, also draws a parallel with the fact that exploration is always done gradually, step by step, and trying something (i.e. here dragging in a certain direction) is always done costly. In the end, all this makes that this click-and-drag exploration reproduces pretty well the thrill of discovering new horizons, getting lost sometimes, finding unexpected things, seeing beauty, humor, desolation or happiness here and there... which can easily captivate an xkcd reader for a looong time (and as such qualifies as nerd sniping).
Warning: there are cheating possibilities, people have implemented ways to explore that world more easily, but the best way to enjoy this comic is probably to play the game, explore the comic's world the way you're supposed to, get lost in the caves or in the sky, be startled by unexpected things or happy when finding some people after lengthy click-and-dragging through a repetitive landscape... So if you didn't do that already, reading any below will spoil you from truly enjoying the comic.
This transcript will only cover the first 3 panels.
- Cueball [narration]: From the stories
- Cueball [narration]: I expected the world to be sad
- [Cueball is floating by holding onto a balloon with one hand.]
- Cueball [narration]: And it was
- Cueball [narration]: And I expected it to be wonderful.
- [Cueball has grabbed hold of the balloon with both hands.]
- [The wind picks up and blows Cueball eastward.]
- Cueball [narration]: It was.
- [Full width panel, initial view of the world. Part of tile 1n1e.]
- Cueball [narration]: I just didn't expect it to be so BIG.
- [Scene opens up. You see Cueball is about a tree's-height from the ground. To the left there is a tall tree with no leaves on it and a broken limb.]
List of details and references
|This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect. If you see a way to improve it, edit it! Thanks.|
The 225 existing tiles are sorted by columns from West to East and from North to South in each column.
|Grid coords||Explanation and Transcript|
|1 North, 33 West||Cueball and Megan reach the western edge of the image and decide to live there.
|1 North, 32 West||Just terrain, no activity|
|1 North, 31 West||Just terrain, no activity|
|1 North, 30 West||Just terrain, no activity|
|1 North, 29 West||Just terrain, no activity|
|1 North, 28 West||Just terrain, no activity|
|1 North, 27 West||Velociraptors in the high grass.
|1 North, 26 West|
|1 North, 25 West||A large radio telescope with a female listening for a signal. Possibly a reference to the movie Contact.|
|1 North, 24 West|
|1 North, 23 West|
|2 North, 22 West||The top of a large Saturn V rocket (the base is in 1 North, 22 West).
|1 North, 22 West||The base of the Saturn V rocket on a launchpad.
|1 North, 21 West||Cueball asks Jesus why his footprints look like tire trakcs. This is a reference to the inspirational text Footprints as well as a reference to the Transformers.
|1 North, 20 West|
|1 North, 19 West|
|1 North, 18 West|
|1 North, 17 West||The scruffy character beneath the palm tree might be a reference to Desert Island Discs, a BBC radio program in which a celebrity chooses the records they would like to be stranded with if castaway. The hatch is a reference to Lost in which the passengers on board a flight over the Pacific Ocean find themselves stranded on a strange island. Their first clue that they stumbled on something out-of-the-ordinary is the hatch.
|1 South, 17 West||A miner. The sliding stone walls behind him (to keep back the water if he digs too far) are a reference to Ted Chiang's "Tower of Babylon" .|
|2 South, 17 West|
|3 South, 17 West||A man saying "Lemonade? Aww, OK." three times as other people fall by him|
|4 South, 17 West|
|5 South, 17 West|
|6 South, 17 West|
|7 South, 17 West|
|8 South, 17 West||An X-Wing fighter from Star Wars|
|9 South, 17 West|
|10 South, 17 West|
|11 South, 17 West|
|12 South, 17 West||Cueball and Megan looking up from the bottom of the shaft.|
|1 North, 16 West|
|12 South, 16 West|
|1 North, 15 West|
|12 South, 15 West|
|1 North, 14 West||The eastern shore of the body of water. Some benches beneath some trees. White Hat asks Cueball if he ever turns off his phone to be alone with his thoughts, which Cueball has and found terrifying.
|12 South, 14 West|
|1 North, 13 West||A rocky hill with a lighthouse. Megan and Ponytail sit atop the hill. A half-buried Statue of Liberty is on the other side in reference to Planet of Apes with Cueball's "You Maniacs!" line parodying the final line from the film. Another western shore makes this a very small landmass.|
|12 South, 13 West||Someone in a pirate hat saying "Becky?". He is carrying either a grappling hook or the end of a rope. Probably a reference to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in which the title character rescues his sweetheart, Becky Thatcher, from a cave.|
|1 North, 12 West||Water|
|12 South, 12 West|
|11 North, 11 West||An empty white tile with symetric coordinates (11 North, 11 West).|
|1 North, 11 West||Water. A blindfolded character playing Marco Polo alone.|
|11 South, 11 West||A black tile with symetric coordinates (11 South, 11 West).
Note, that this PNG file contains an ICC section which means that the blackness in this image is properly color-corrected.
|12 South, 11 West|
|1 North, 10 West||Water.|
|12 South, 10 West|
|1 North, 9 West||Possibly a reference to the Principality of Sealand or to the concept of a micronation in general, List of micronations. Alternative theory: news recently involving some special interest groups on the internet looking to buy an island together.|
|2 South, 9 West||Jellyfish playing some sort of console game.|
|12 South, 9 West|
|1 North, 8 West||A three-masted sailing ship with a reference to Monty Python? One character swings from the rigging lines. One character laughs at the name poop deck. One character is climbing the rigging and is apparently Elizabeth Warren. There appears to be a vintage pirate onboard shouting "Avast!" (meaning stop), but no one is apparently listening. Possibly a reference to comic being released on International Talk Like a Pirate Day.|
|12 South, 8 West|
|13 South, 8 West|
|7 North, 7 West|
|1 North, 7 West||Water|
|13 South, 7 West|
|14 South, 7 West|
|1 North, 6 West||Water|
|1 South, 6 West||Jellyfish|
|13 South, 6 West|
|14 South, 6 West|
|6 North, 5 West||Red spiders from earlier comics falling from the sky|
|1 North, 5 West||Several buoys and a small sailboat. "I'm on a Boat" is a single from The Lonely Island's debut album Incredibad.|
|14 South, 5 West|
|2 North, 4 West|
|1 North, 4 West||The coast of the body of water at a beach with some sea birds and beachgoers.|
|14 South, 4 West|
|3 North, 3 West||
|2 North, 3 West||An empty white tile.|
|1 North, 3 West||The west wall of a large building which stair-cases narrower as it rises.|
|14 South, 3 West|
|8 North, 2 West||This seems to be the peak of the Burj Khalifa to which 6 North, 27 East refers.|
|7 North, 2 West|
|6 North, 2 West||Black Hat is seen in the picture with a gatling gun, probably the Imperial cannons referred in 8 North, 6 East.|
|5 North, 2 West||A construction crane lifting another, smaller, construction crane. Possibly a reference to the "Truck Truck Truck" gag from the Simpsons. Also, self-erecting tower cranes do usually not lift crawler cranes|
|4 North, 2 West|
|3 North, 2 West|
|2 North, 2 West|
|1 North, 2 West||The bulk of the base of the building with one terrace visible on either side. Megan says "I came here to chew bubblegum... And I'm all out of bubblegum" is a reference to the movie They Live in which the character Nada famously says "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubblegum". That line is also used in the game Duke Nukem 3D by Duke himself, when Shrapnel City (Episode 3) starts. Also, Cueball says "That's a shame" a line popularised by Jerry in the sitcom Seinfeld. Pool line is a reference to "pool on the roof" prank from the movie Hackers.|
|14 South, 2 West|
|8 North, 1 West||An empty white tile.|
|5 North, 1 West||The tail of the crawler crane lifted at 5 North, 2 West.|
|2 North, 1 West||An empty white tile.|
|1 North, 1 West||The western wall at the base of a large building including its portico, a remote control rocket-powered bicycle attempting to launch from the first terrace, a balcony on the second terrace and a satellite dish and other exhausts on the third. Trees with squirrels stand in front of the building leading to a parking lot with cars and one Weinermobile|
|14 South, 1 West|
|15 South, 1 West||Possible statement about the ubiquity of Facebook and Twitter (that even people living in caves are aware of those services). It may also be an allusion to how desperately people seek attention through these media - a viewer could expect the characters to cry for help in order to save their lives; while they do take an appropriately desperate tone, they ask for something else entirely.|
|13 North, 1 East||Two whales is possibly a reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the planet Magrathea, where (improbably) two incoming missiles are turned into a whale and a bowl of petunias. It may also be a reference to the album From Mars to Sirius by the French heavy metal band Gojira, specifically the track, "Flying Whales."|
|6 North, 1 East||A hot air balloon is the oldest form of human-carrying flight.
|1 North, 1 East||The "center" of the world; the default loaded image with Cueball floating by balloon. The balloons may be a reference to comic 1106. This may also be a reference to Winnie The Pooh. The parking lot to the west ends to a grassy/rocky field with a tree. A hill runs up to the east with a fountain.
|14 South, 1 East|
|15 South, 1 East|
|16 South, 1 East|
|17 South, 1 East|
|9 North, 2 East||Apollo 13 messaging 'Houston, we have a problem'.|
|3 North, 2 East||A reference to the Greek myth of Icarus and his father's escape from Crete by building wings of feathers and wax. The joke is that, the incredible part of the story, the fact that Icarus and his father actually flew with simple wax and feathers, is downplayed to try to give children an object lesson about humility and hubris.
|1 North, 2 East|
|14 South, 2 East|
|17 South, 2 East|
|3 North, 3 East|
|2 North, 3 East|
|1 North, 3 East|
|14 South, 3 East|
|17 South, 3 East|
|18 South, 3 East||Minecraft reference: Someone escapes a creeper, running deeper into the cave he just fell in.|
|2 North, 4 East|
|1 North, 4 East||A black empty tile (required because unspecified North tiles are automatically filled with white).|
|18 South, 4 East|
|19 South, 4 East|
|2 North, 5 East||Cueball can't get cellphone reception, while two wingsuit flyers are leaping off a cliff above him.|
|1 North, 5 East||A black empty tile (required because unspecified North tiles are automatically filled with white).|
|17 South, 5 East||Possibly The Nautilus, the submarine from Jules Verne's novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and The Mysterious Island (1874)|
|19 South, 5 East|
|8 North, 6 East||Red Five is both Anakin and Luke Skywalker's call sign. Anakin uses the sign in the Battle of Coruscant and Luke uses it in the Battle of Yavin. Also note the use of "cannon" and "canon."|
|2 North, 6 East||Giant airborne jellyfish.|
|1 North, 6 East|
|16 South, 6 East|
|17 South, 6 East|
|19 South, 6 East|
|1 North, 7 East||Level 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. This is confirmed by text on 3 South, 7 East. The level's "bottomless pits" continue downward.|
|1 South, 7 East|
|2 South, 7 East|
|3 South, 7 East|
|4 South, 7 East|
|5 South, 7 East|
|6 South, 7 East|
|7 South, 7 East|
|8 South, 7 East||RPG style pit trap|
|9 South, 7 East||Another Minecraft reference. Cueball standing while a girl swings a pickaxe to further dig out a tunnel. Farther down, part of the mine shaft has collapsed and sealed the hole.|
|10 South, 7 East|
|11 South, 7 East|
|12 South, 7 East|
|13 South, 7 East|
|14 South, 7 East||Someone's walker cane is wedged in the right hand mine shaft|
|15 South, 7 East|
|16 South, 7 East||Suspension bridge ostensibly holding up the mine shafts above it, preventing them from falling on pyramid in the cavern village below.|
|17 South, 7 East||Pyramid in a cavern (Minecraft?) village.|
|19 South, 7 East||Horizontal tunnel|
|1 North, 8 East||Four wind turbines|
|16 South, 8 East|
|17 South, 8 East|
|18 South, 8 East|
|19 South, 8 East|
|1 North, 9 East||Reference to the first line of "99 Problems" by Jay-Z ("If you're having girl problems I feel bad for you son. I've got 99 problems but a <rhymes with "witch"> ain't one."). Just left of the fence is a small cleared area with what appears to be a frog in the center. Frog Prince?|
|3 North, 10 East||The outline of a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft, with original photo located here.|
|1 North, 10 East|
|11 North, 11 East||An empty white tile with symetric coordinates (11 N, 11 E).|
|1 North, 11 East|
|11 South, 11 East||An empty black tile with symetric coordinates (11 N, 11 E).
Note, that this PNG file contains an ICC section which means that the blackness in this image is properly color-corrected.
|5 North, 12 East||A hot-air balloon with someone singing "Daiiisyyy... Daiiiiisy..." and another person climbing up the balloon to rip it open. These are Hal 9000's dying words as Dave pulls the plug (Daisy Bell).|
|1 North, 12 East||Bourne or Sagamore Bridge|
|1 North, 13 East||Bourne or Sagamore Bridge. A horse-drawn wagon and a tank are both crossing; a fishing boat is in the water and two character sit atop the bridge "nom"ing
|1 North, 14 East||Bourne or Sagamore Bridge|
|1 North, 15 East||A character sits atop a flagpole singing the chorus of the song "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger. The characters in the wagon reference the Oregon Trail computer game. Black Hat waits at the end of the bridge with a canon.|
|2 North, 16 East|
|1 North, 16 East||A cabin which appears to be hooked up to a series of electrical towers.|
|2 North, 17 East|
|1 North, 17 East||More power lines and a steep cliff dropoff to water. Cueball watches a butterfly flit around as they did in the Peanuts comic strip.|
|3 North, 18 East||Commercial airline jet with landing gear deployed. Caption: "Folks, this is your captain speaking. I need you all to turn on every electronic device your have. There's no time to explain." (a reference to the game with the same name?)|
|1 North, 18 East||Two swimmers in the ocean saying "Stupid FreeBSD...". FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system. A reference to 349: Success.|
|1 North, 19 East||A humpback whale as seen in Pacific Life Insurance advertisements.|
|1 North, 20 East||A rocky shore|
|1 North, 21 East||A fin-shaped object protrudes from the ground|
|2 North, 22 East|
|1 North, 22 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|3 North, 23 East|
|2 North, 23 East|
|1 North, 23 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|4 North, 24 East|
|3 North, 24 East|
|2 North, 24 East|
|1 North, 24 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|5 North, 25 East|
|4 North, 25 East|
|3 North, 25 East|
|2 North, 25 East|
|1 North, 25 East|
|6 North, 26 East|
|5 North, 26 East|
|4 North, 26 East||Black Hat is hanging from one of the wire supports.|
|3 North, 26 East|
|2 North, 26 East|
|1 North, 26 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|7 North, 27 East|
|6 North, 27 East||Tallest man made structure is Burj Khalifa (829.84 m (2,723 ft)) located in Dubai. This appears to be the former record-holder, the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota.|
|5 North, 27 East|
|4 North, 27 East|
|3 North, 27 East|
|2 North, 27 East|
|1 North, 27 East||The base of a radio tower|
|6 North, 28 East|
|5 North, 28 East|
|4 North, 28 East|
|3 North, 28 East|
|2 North, 28 East|
|1 North, 28 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|5 North, 29 East|
|4 North, 29 East||Someone is sliding down the wire.|
|3 North, 29 East|
|2 North, 29 East|
|1 North, 29 East||Guy-wires|
|4 North, 30 East|
|3 North, 30 East|
|2 North, 30 East|
|1 North, 30 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|3 North, 31 East|
|2 North, 31 East|
|1 North, 31 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|2 North, 32 East|
|1 North, 32 East||An anchor for Guy-wires|
|1 North, 33 East||A tree with a tractor|
|1 North, 34 East||A rolling grassy landscape with a fence|
|1 North, 35 East||a barn and some trees|
|1 North, 36 East||Reference to the original Pokemon games. When Prof. Oak tells you not to go into the tall grass without a Pokemon.
|1 North, 37 East||Grass|
|1 North, 38 East||Grass with a short rectangular structure|
|2 North, 39 East||The top of a water tower|
|1 North, 39 East||The base of a water tower|
|1 North, 40 East||Grass|
|1 North, 41 East||Grass|
|1 North, 42 East||Grass|
|1 North, 43 East||Grass|
|1 North, 44 East||Grass|
|1 North, 45 East||Grass|
|1 North, 46 East||Grass|
|1 North, 47 East||Grass|
|1 North, 48 East||Cueball with a balloon in his hand, flying towards the image border. He says "I wonder where I'll float next". This is a reference to the very first xkcd comic. It may also be a reference to World of Goo, a computer game, where at the and of level 1 the goo balls leave the screen carried by balloons, wondering what will be next.
The probably best way to see the whole image and navigate effortlessly through it (map-like, with zooming in and out), has been implemented at http://xkcd-map.rent-a-geek.de/ and http://clickanddrag.azurewebsites.net/. There is also a version at http://sumamimasen.com/xkcd/1110/ that stays faithful to the original, but adds keyboard controls.
- The click-and-drag portion of this comic is divided up into 2592 sections of 2048x2048 pixels.
- There are 225 separate 2048x2048 PNG files (plus the PNG container with the first panels). The other 2337 sections are simply filled black (in the south) or white (in the north) with HTML.
- The populated area is 81 frames wide(33 West - 48 East) and 32 frames tall (13 North - 19 South)
- According to Randall in #xkcd on the night this was released, a full size image of this comic, leaving out the blanks would be 60 gigapixels, a true single rectangular image would be close to a terapixel. The online version is 1 gigapixel without the blanks and 10 gigapixel as rectangular image (2048x2048x225 = 943,718,400 and 2048x2048x2592 = 10,871,635,968).
- Based on the height of figures as well as the "two mile" figure given on the left-hand side, the scale should be approximately 32 pixels per 5 feet, making the entire map 25920 feet wide (4.9 miles or 7.9 kilometers) by 10240 feet tall (1.9 miles or 3.1 kilometers). If it were an overhead area, it would be about 9.5 square miles (6093 acres or 24.7 square km), roughly the size of Block Island, Rhode Island, USA.
- If the 2048x2048 PNGs were to be printed out as a single poster at 300 dpi, the poster would be 15.36 yards (14.05 meters) long and 6.07 yards (5.55 meters) tall. Most of the detail would be invisible, as these PNGs are optimized for ~72 dpi screens.