Jan 7, 2008

The Maxwell Group Compass

Some disappointing news here. Turns out the compass image that so much speculation has gone on about is nothing but a for-sale stock image. The 75 where 30 should be and the West where East should be are still plenty mysterious, but I don't think that there are any hidden clues.


levektekadruza said...

I have explanation for West where East should beOn geological compasses you hace sides in this garde.
So maxwell group could be a company providing geological research.
I hope it is helpfull and clear (despite my poor english)

andrea said...

East and West are also reversed in astronomical maps.

KeepingAwake said...

and the supposed 'snake' is just a swirl, as I've thought all along. It's the site's 'mark'

you can see that quite clearly in this picture:http://www.dreamstime.com/crumpled-wrapping-paper-image3901522

KeepingAwake said...

and in this one:http://www.dreamstime.com/shadowed-ladybug-image3900871

Faisal said...

i don't know if i went nuts or this actualy means anything!!

i was thinks that maybe sam is misleading oceanic with that jakarta thing, maxwell group are trying to get oceanic busted, so they send sam the encrypted message with sonya's picture,
if so, then sam wouldn't tell what the encrypted message really was, right??
i mean he also don't want oceanic to know that he understood what maxwell really meant, so he made them think that he thinks that Christiane I is boat, and it is in jakarta and he is going there, but also he wanted us to get the real message so we can help him..

so what is "Christiane I" really is?
i'm not quite sure, but if we considered the writing one the ring box (manhattan), and the fact the there is in manhattan a building actualy named black rock (it is the cbs building: check wikipedia) i think that Christiane would mean Christiane Amanpour who is a famous correspondent worked with cbs (chief international correspondent for CNN at this time)and was a correspondent for "60 minutes"


i know it does not make a lot of sense but if we added that there is actualy a group named maxwellgroup in manhttan (http://www.maxwellgroup.com/), that would make this theory worthy of considering in the coming parts of the game

Jeff said...

I'm not surprised at all about this. Being a web designer and Flash developer myself, I can say it's extremely common to use images from stock image sites as assets in websites and Flash applications.

I would reckon that a large majority of the images in the ARG are obtained from stock image sites and then modified in Photoshop for use in the game.

Jeff said...


Good catch on the watermark. I gotta say, with the money that ABC has to throw around on this ARG, I'm kind of shocked they lifted a watermarked image from a stock image site, rather than pay for and legally use it.

Here's the link to the image: http://www.dreamstime.com/compass-image840361.

andrea said...

I'm sorry if I'm pointing out this again, but it's like nobody saw this..
THERE IS only ONE difference between the logo on sale and the logo used in Maxwell's site. The ending part of the watermark is different, and Maxwell's has got a "snake's head like" thing.
Did they change the logo for something regarding the plot? Or only to change the watermark and being not too attached to dreamsite's logo?

Jeff said...

Honestly, I don't think it matters either way. There's nothing more to be read into the compass than the fact that it's a compass.

Jeff said...

And that's no snake head. It looks like that part of the image got skewed to the right, breaking the swirl and causing a jagged hole.

There's also no mystery about the East and West inversion. That's on the stock image itself; unproofed graphic design by someone who obviously doesn't know anything about cartography.

Morgan said...

The east and west winds are reversed on a mah jongg board as well. Determining which way the east wind blows is the first step in playing the game (deciding who will play as/with the east wind).

"You may notice that the winds shown in the compass are reversed. If you have and are wondering why, it is because Mah Jongg is a ritual Game that reflects Chinese philosophical principles, for example, there is a ritual of building The Wall - which mirrors the boundaries of an ancient Chinese city, with the four sides of the Wall given the name of the four winds. However the winds are named in reversed order because they do not reflect terrestrial directions but rather represent a celestial map, that is, the winds are shown in the directions that you would expect to see if you were looking from a heavenly perspective rather than an earthly one. You can visualize this by looking up to the sky, work out where East and West are and realise then that they are reversed." -quote taken from http://www.mahjongg.com/invcomp.htm

Jeff said...

Right. But this is meant as a compass for a map or atlas. And it's a stock graphic. There's no deep meaning.

Morgan said...

however they could have picked any stock graphic compass, especially one facing the correct way. i don't understand why everyone is so quick to write this off as lazy and not thought-out just because they didnt design it from scratch.

Jeff said...

I bet you any money they just liked the look of the compass. They've gotta pull off brand new stuff practically every day; there's going to be some sloppiness here and there.

jam said...

i agree it could be because of laziness, however if there is some sort of secret meaning to it, i think people are going into way too much depth.

think about it, they explain it on the game find 815.

the black rock set of from papua new guinea and was meant to head west to africa, instead witnesses claimed they saw it going of in an easternly direction. mayby this is a subtle clue about the black rock heading off in the wrong direction, or perhaps the captain of the black rock had an inaccurate compass with east and west the wrong way round

Tigerlily said...

I am a graphic designer and I work with stock photo images all the time, and it's not any watermark I am familiar with. Plus, there is NO WAY any designer with half a brain would leave it there by accident.

The watermark is there on purpose. I'm sure of that. In a weird way it reminds me of the Dharma Group logo's swan... but it's not the same, I checked. Whether it means anything or not though, it's no accident. I'm sure of that.

Tigerlily said...

ps. Stock photo sites put the watermark on the images so you can download a "test" image... but you have to buy the actual image to have rights to use it. The designers can't publish an image with a watermark on it... they would get in trouble for using an image they don't have rights to. The Lost franchise is way too high profile for them to risk something like that. It's there on purpose.