Posts tagged ‘web’

03/09/2014 1416 – Pixels

Today, Randall put up a new multi-image comic on his site, titled “Pixels”:

At the start you see an image with a cueball kneeling before a stack of turtles, with the note “scroll to zoom”.

When you zoom in, all pixels of the image expand into a new image, where black pixels turn into dark images, and white pixels into bright images. The process can be repeated over and over, where a number of different images can be discovered, and some stories unfold.

Again, I wanted to find all images and stories, so I wrote a small web-crawler:

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Map of xkcd’s “Click and Drag”

Today’s xkcd comic has probably the largest comic frame ever drawn. You can explore it via clicking and dragging, as the title suggests. It is so large, that it takes a really long time to go through it. So I decided to create an overview map, to aid you in navigation.

This is what I did:
I figured out, that the map pieces follow the URL pattern[n|s]Y[e|w].png,

where n, s, e, w are characters to select the quadrant, and X and Y are positive integers (>=1) with no zero padding. The images are each 2048×2048 pixels in size and are arranged in an orthogonal grid.

The bounds can be found in the JavaScript file

var size=[14, 48, 25, 33];

These are the bounds of [n, e, s, w] respectively, however, I did only find images for [13, 48, 19, 33], a little bit less in the n-s direction, but maybe I was missing something.

I did a brute force download of all the images (sorry Randall) using simple DOS shell commands like this for the s-e-quadrant:

FOR /L %x IN (1,1,25) DO FOR /L %y IN (1,1,48) DO wget

I got 225 files that existed, all others are completely black or white and returned a 404-Not found.
You can find the sorted list of all images at the end of this post.

After I got all the images, I downsampled them to 1/10th, and arranged them with a little C# hack.
Here you can find the result. Gray marks areas where no images are available. These are either completely black or completely white. On the top and left you can find the coordinates of the png files. I added a white grid, so that you can easier follow the coordinates. The black grid lines mark the border between e-w and n-s, although the latter can hardly be seen, since the whole line is set with images.

This map is again 1/10th of my full map, so 1/100th of the original images (click to see full size, otherwise it’s approx. 1/162th):

Overview map 1:100 of

Overview map 1:100 of

You can download the 1/10th map here.
For the full images, please visit

Thank you Randall, and keep up your great work!!

Edit: Other people’s approaches

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