This is why skepticism is only second to honesty as the most important quality in an organization. Some organizations punish skeptics as being disruptive, but the simple fact is that many times people don't know what the fuck they are talking about, and skeptics are an organization's immune-system. If someone is presenting on something complicated and there are not probing questions, then something is terribly wrong.
It turns out it's like a continuous contour plot (showing deformation from a Haitian earthquake). Thanks to Google image search, such poorly documented images can be traced back to their source - and context! - quite quickly. This one was on the first page of results.
I really want to know the context of some of these, like the social media 'chart': http://wtfviz.net/image/59427832631
I remember, back when I was doing some research having to explain to people what a standard deviation was and what confidence meant.
There are ways to talk to people who don't know statistics - for instance if you talk about percentages people glaze, however, if you talk about 25 people in every hundred, that's something they can tend to engage with better.... If you use a bar chart, people tend to be used to looking at those. Drop 'correlates with' and use 'relates to' - that sort of thing.
It seems silly, it's all the same stuff. But some people have addition, division and multiplication as more or less the extent of their mathematical skills - because that's all they've been called upon to use since school. There's nothing wrong with that most of the time, I mean it's entirely understandable, it just means that if you're talking to them half the job is putting it in forms that they can understand.
Perhaps you could say that basic statistical competency should be required for a college degree.
Which is what you did. There's no "large jump" in 2012. 2012 was one degree warmer than 1934, which in turn was a quarter degree warmer than 1999.
Besides, using the most extreme six points in the last century to paint a trend is awfully stupid anyway. With all of the data that was omitted, the temperature could have averaged 53.5 degrees from 1921 to 2006, then dropped to 45 degrees from 2007 to 2011 - indicating that we were suddenly falling into a new ice age punctuated by sparse years of extreme heat - and this graph(esque monstrosity) would look exactly the same.
This is a perfect example of information presentation that makes the people exposed to it stupider than they were before they saw it, because now they think that they know something.
edit: to be clearer - all this graphic is saying is that 2012 was the hottest year in the last 100 years.
Here's a mind-experiment; find a record value of anything that occurs in sequence. Take the previous 99 values of that sequence, and eliminate all but the top five values. Arrange those values from lowest to highest from left to right, ending with the record value.
Number of Participants in the Sleepy
Hollow Hog-Calling Competition During
Record Years of Participation in the
Sleepy Hollow Hog-Calling Competition
54 ** **
53 ** ** ** **
52 ** ** ** ** **
51 ** ** ** ** ** **
1991 1915 1914 2006 1931 2012
If its showing relative magnitude of change, 53 degrees is better than 0. Whether how much farther this is from other "hot" years than they are from each other is a key point is at least debatable.
For any purpose for which a zero is needed (which doesn't include showing magnitude of change), for temperature 0 degrees F (which presumably this is -- a real problem with this is that it just specifies degrees, which is ambiguous) is just as arbitrary and inappropriate as 53 degrees F; if you are doing a visualization for which it is important to show a meaningful zero, you'd actually want absolute zero (0K). But for most things related to climate change, there's no reason for "zero" as the baseline.
There's certainly purposes for which a meaningful baseline other than 0K or 53F would be appropriate -- what that baseline would be depends on the purpose.
3D columns are bad of course, but that is neglible.
However, if they were demonstrated in an interactive media, e.g. a touch screen tablet, I bet the situation would be quite different, given that some components were designed to be highlighted through user interactions.
Assuming a simple typo, where the 89 should be 59, the pie slices still look wrong to me. Looking at the relative sizes of the 4% and the 3% slices, that might be a rounding issue (could of instance be 3.7% and 3.3%), but the Apple and Android ones look too big to me.
But I don't see how wrong it would be to use the pie graph in such a way per se. IMHO, the foremost feature of pie graphs, the angle of sector, is kept.
If Apple is at 34%, with Google/Android 89%, Windows Phone 4%, and Blackberry 3%, it would be a total of 130%, but 130% of what?
One issue is that the area of the figure should correspond to the number it represents. For example, the area for 3% should be 75% of the size of the area for 4%, but it clearly isn't in this illustration. If they don't match up, what is the point of having a visual at all? To show that 3% is smaller than 4%?
Even if some of the others match up (I can't tell for sure), their shape is so different that it really doesn't give us any better understanding of how 34% compares to 89%. And again, what is the point of a visualization that doesn't aid in understanding?