Thursday, August 8, 2013

XKCD's epic "Time" is map-centric

We've done a lot of xkcd by Randall Munroe on this blog (how could we not?).  But Munroe recently finished an overwhelmingly epic work entitled "Time".  It started with a simple image of a pair of people and a title text that said "Wait for it".  Then the image was updates, and updated again, and slowly, very slowing the people began building a sandcastle. One updated image at a time the story unfolded from a leisurely day at the riverbank into saga that was much more expansive and compelling, even including an entirely new language composed specifically for this extremely slow stop-motion work.  And as the plot developed the characters mentioned maps, and then the maps became a central plot device until maps were used in the big reveal near the story's climax.

For those who did not have the patience to wait for the almost 3,100 frames posted occasionally over the course of four months, Jack Pryor built a website xkcd 1190 - Time at your own pace that lets users interactively step through every frame one-at-a-time or automatically, even with pauses to read dialog.

Randall Munroe explains the backstory here. It's truly an impressive work. While he does that I'll post some of the map-related images from the story.  I'll leave the links only for the images that would be spoilers.

This is just before the big reveal. You can kind of see what it's all about if you know what to look for.  To avoid spoilers I'm only going to post the link to it.

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