Alberto Cairo and wtfviz.net pointed me to the infographic on the left, a summary of a residents’ survey from the town of Flower Mound, Texas (near Dallas/Fort Worth airport). The highlight of the infographic is the 3-D piecharts nesting in the tree, ready to hatch out into full-fledged misinformation.
At least, they look like 3-D pie charts at first glance. When you look more closely, the data are three-year trends in approval ratings for a variety of topics, so pie charts would be even more inappropriate than usual as a display method. When you look even more closely, you see that that’s ok, because the 3-D ellipses are all just divided into three equal wedges — the data aren’t involved at all.
The infographic on the right comes from the town government. It’s much better, especially by the standards of infographics.
If you follow the link, you can read the full survey results, and see that the web page giving survey highlights actually describes how the survey was done — and it was done well. They sent questionnaires to a random sample of households, got a 35% response rate (not bad, for this sort of thing) and reweighted it based on age, gender, and housing tenure (ie rent, own, etc) to make it more representative. That’s a better description (and a better survey) than a lot of the ones reported in the NZ media.
[update: probably original, higher resolution version, via Dave Bremer.]