XKCD's 14-foot-wide CLICK AND DRAG map

Today's XKCD, "Click and Drag," is a triumph. It's a tribute to House of Leaves, and it treats the punchline as a window to a ginormous, explorable world that you can see by clicking and dragging. Dan Catt puts the artwork at 46 feet wide, assuming it is printed at 300dpi. It's full of Munrovian sly humor and sight gags, and has its own underground civilization. It's not like any other thing I've seen.

If you want to mouse around in a zoomable version of the map, see this mashup. If (when) Randall offers this for sale as a poster, I may have to throw away some furniture to make room for it.

Click and Drag (via Kottke)


  1. I also thought this xkcd was astonishing, and something new.

    Can someone please explain the House of Leaves connection? Does it have something to do with the first line of the comic (“from the stories”) which I also didn’t understand?

  2. I was sooo glad I’m on vacation, so I could explore, this morning.  I thought I had found almost everything, but I was sure there was something I’d missed.  Thanks!

    /Off to look for a bowl of petunias…

    //Edited to add: It’s not 14 feet wide. It’s at least two miles wide.

    ///While I’m here: “Really, miles, Randall Munroe? Never heard of SI?”

    ////Final edit: a clue to the size of the drawing is in the drawing.

  3. My wrists thank you for the zoomable map. It destroys some of the serendipity of suddenly seeing a balloon, or a isolated cave passage, but such is life..

  4. So the two things that seem most unlikely to find through random exploration (Easter Egg-ish) are the high-altitude space whales…

    …and, far beneath the sea platform, there’s a jellyfish or giant squid or Cthulhu or something, watching a TV screen, apparently.

    But most of the things in there seem to be specific references, not just random gags…

    The space whales could be a Douglas Adams reference (But since there are two of them I don’t really think so), or a STAR TREK IV riff.  

    Maybe it’s just sort of general purpose Space Whales as might appear on some Roger Dean album artwork or something.

    But the jellyfish/squid/Cthulhu watching what appears to be a video screen….       any ideas?   

    I’m reminded of one Arthur C. Clarke short story where a guy is in a deep-sea submersible and starts communicating with giant squid through electronic images (in his case, projected from a screen, in their case, actually formed on their own bodies via luminosity).

    1.  You notice a bit up and to the right of that jellyfish, there’s a larger school of jellyfish socializing.

      The one you found is alone, “in his room,” playing video games.

    2. I assumed the squid was on a laptop, presumably stealing internet from the “bitcoin-only island nation” above.

    3. lol I, by total chance, found the squid watching tv thing, just decided to so a random dive down below that platform. Soon after I found the tunnel I went to the zoomable version, would have given up otherwise. But I think you could miss some stuff on the zoomable one, like the two raptors almost hidden in the grass way off to the left

  5. This one really got to me. I got lost in the caves and every little person I found there made me feel a little less alone. It reminded me constantly of Blind Descent, a book I read some time ago about supercave exploration that I actually discovered through Boing Boing. 

  6. For the best experience, you should certainly spend at least ten minutes or so at the original, clicking through. Yes it can be a slog, but it’s a slog travelling around the world as well!

    After you have had the joy of stumbling upon enough fun experiences, only then jump to the zoomable map….

  7. Did a stitching of the screen  and some more explanation here:  https://plus.google.com/103067286453763274834/posts/8jBSM31xBCX

    You can get low res 10 megapixel version :)

  8. I searched and searched through the world looking for the Minecraft gag that I knew had to be there. And sure enough, it was. Exactly how I imagined it, even.

    I must say that the zoomable version is far superior, even if you don’t use the zoom, if for no other reason than being able to navigate with the keyboard.

  9. I was certain that there would be a shark suspended from a large baloon drifting somewhere, and…  I haven’t seen it.

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