Plus, he obviously only uses a 'pen' style brush.
I don't see much discussion about the ability of these charts to condense large amounts of data into compact spaces. No mention of these devices ability to encode a concept into a visual experience... Not to put too fine a point to it but... What Would Edward Tufte Say?
...good point, like to see more of this type of comment in this thread.
Sounds like what you are saying is along the lines of (paraphrasing here) almost correct as opposed to precisely inaccurate.
I hope others will add more along the same lines.
^Not necessarily correlates with information retention.
The problem is that good hand-drawn figures are hard - xkcd just makes it look easy.
So awesome work!
A similar application is awwapp.com
d3.js should probably have you covered.
Complicated part is in intelligent fragmentation and jiggling based on hand velocity and hand muscle modeling but it's pretty easy to get decent result. Another technique to combine this with is drawing each path more than once but, like bold fonts, result is not as generally useful.
If this ever gets popular, I think we'll be in trouble.
An online tool would be awesome.... :)
One for the backburner list.
Umm, draw them by hand? I don't want to seem to be stating the obvious, but ...
* Take some fine-point felt pens, draw the chart on paper, and scan it.
* Use a drawing program that has a freehand option, a mode where you can sketch using a mouse or other pointing device.
* Take an art course, fail the course, but succeed in getting the requisite materials.
The second solution (Simon wood) uses rasterzation and image processing to do the trick, thus losing vector data.
I like this idea, but the results have what I would say is "very low momentum" in them (not speaking with any kind of terminology here, just ad hoc) meaning that just as when you write L E T T E R S e..x..t..r..e...m...e...l...y... s--l---o---w---l---y you get much more wiggle in them, the two images on this page are very very wavy, as though the pen that drew them had no momentum.
isn't there a way to have lines be drawn by a hand that has inertia/momentum and is trying to follow the logical curve, but just wavers a certain percentage and correct as it goes along? This is what gets (in my opinion) the result we see. Someone drawing at a good pace by hand and correcting while he does so. not a "random deviation" around the logical path, whch is what these results seem to be more like.