XKCD 1110 has 164 People

29 Sep

Ok, so the author of XKCD recently published an excellent strip called “Click and Drag“, which stretches the boundaries of what cartoons are – both figuratively and literally.

The last panel is huge!!! You can’t see it all at once, instead, you are invited to drag the image around to see what’s there.

It’s so big, that it’s published as a collection of 2048×2048 tiles. If it were published as a single image, the resolution would be 165888 x 65536.

For some reason, I became curious no know how many people in the Click And Drag world. There’s no way you could count them by clicking and dragging, so the first step is to actually download all the images. It turns out there’s 225 of them. Now, the author of XKCD has a unique style, that means every character’s head is roughly a circle. So, rather than look through 225 individual images, it’s easier to write a computer program to do edge detection, then apply a circular hough transform to find the heads. Why are you looking at me funny? You think there’s an easier way?

Hough Transform

My Hough Transform did a good job, I told it to be enthusiastic about spotting circles in the pictures, so there were far more false positives than false negatives.

Anyway, my program did a good job for a quick hack, and enabled me to confidently count all the visible characters.

Now, you might complain that there are characters who can’t be seen. For example, the pilots of the airplanes or X-Wing fighters, or the person singing “Daisy, Daisy” in one of the balloons. However, you can’t see these people, so you can’t be sure they’re really there. After all, this is a world with flying whales and jellyfish, where women right gunshot on the back of airliners, where skyscrapers lie within walking distance of rocket launchpads. Tom Sawyer is there, as is Icarus. With so many anachronisms, I’d rather just count the visible people. If you start counting people you can’t see, where’s it going to end?

So, XKCD cartoon 1110 (Click and Drag) has 164 people in it.

In case you’d like to check if I’ve missed any, here’s a complete list. Feel free to suggest better names for some of them!

12s11w.png    1    Gollum??
12s13w.png    1    Tom Sawyer
12s15w.png    1    digger in cave
12s17w.png    3    couple at bottom of shaft, walker in low tunnel
13s7w.png    2    climbers in slanting tunnel
14s3e.png    1    man relaxing in underground garden
14s6w.png    1    tunnel walker
15s1w.png    2    couple hoping for social media cave rescue
17s5e.png    1    man in underground UFO
18s3e.png    1    man playing minecraft
1n10e.png    1    man standing on rock
1n11w.png    1    man playing Marco Polo
1n13e.png    9    picnickers atop bridge, 2 tank riders on bridge, black hat on bridge, covered wagon on bridge (2), couple on boat under bridge
1n13w.png    3    “Planet of the apes” sandcastle builder, and two observers
1n14w.png    2    guys discussing phones
1n15e.png    4    man on flagpole, 2 people in covered wagon, blackhat with cannon
1n17e.png    1    man standing under tower
1n17w.png    3    two men on island, man climbing out of hole
1n18e.png    2    FreeBSD hating swimmers
1n1e.png    4    balloon man, man chasing helicopter, ladies walking uphill
1n1w.png    8    2 guys in carpark, 6 loitering on building
1n21w.png    2    man walking with transformer
1n22e.png    2    couple under telephone tower
1n22w.png    2    lady climbing rocket, man walking under rocket
1n25w.png    1    Dr Ellie Alloway
1n2e.png    7    pipe player, lady climbing rock, lady in tower, couple bathing, wimp and lady friend
1n2w.png    7    2 bubblegum chewers, 5 pool swimmers
1n33w.png    2    2 mile settlers
1n36e.png    2    long grass and pikachu couple
1n39e.png    1    man under water tower
1n3e.png    2    ladies crossing pit
1n3w.png    2    couple at base of building
1n44e.png    2    lady walking in savanna, man sitting on knoll
1n48e.png    1    balloon floater (again)
1n4w.png    3    family on beach
1n5w.png    2    men on a boat
1n7e.png    1    Man about to play Mario
1n8e.png    1    lady amongst wind turbines
1n8w.png    10    pirate ship crew
1n9e.png    2    fence builders
1n9w.png    5    people on (and off) bitcoin island
1s17w.png    1    tunnel digger
1s7e.png    3    man and lady climbing up shafts, man falling down shaft
2n22w.png    2    guys atop launchpad
2n2w.png    9    lady in deckchair, industry event
2n39e.png    2    couple atop water tank
2n3e.png    3    couple discussing aliens, skier
2n4e.png    4    trio setting goals, lady on observation post
2n5e.png    3    two base jumpers with flying suits, man with cellphone but no service
2n6e.png    2    2 birdwatchers
3n2e.png    1    Icarus
3n2w.png    3    trio skeet shooting with CDs
3n3e.png    1    lady riding on a plane
3n3w.png    1    man swinging on tyre
3s17w.png    4    lemonade seller and customers
3s7e.png    2    discussing dead Marios
4n26e.png    1    black hat climbing wire
4n29e.png    1    lady sliding down wire
5n12e.png    1    guy tearing balloon
6n1e.png    2    2 balloonists
6n27e.png    1    lady atop telephone tower
6n2w.png    6    ladies discussing inflation, blackhat with anti-aircraft guns, couple discussing the view, paper airplane thrower
9s7e.png    2    tunnel diggers

Can someone tell me what this jellyfish is doing??

Can someone tell me what this jellyfish is doing??

man in underground UFO
balloon man, man chasing helicopter, ladies walking uphill
trio setting goals, lady on observation post
trio skeet shooting with CDs

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Leave a Reply


  1. Grassynoel

    September 30, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Playing a video game?

  2. Mike H

    September 30, 2012 at 7:11 am

    maybe :-) I’m almost sure I’ve seen it somewhere else before… perhaps I need to write a Hough Jellyfish Transform and apply it to the whole internet?