Where did Smithies travel most often during Thanksgiving break? – Tofurkey 2023

Building on past SAL associates’ work in creating the Tofurkey experience, I wanted to test out the capabilities of the ArcGIS Experience Builder. Though the number of widgets was initially overwhelming, I appreciated Esri’s desire to increase the customizability of ArcGIS Experiences. This tool is great for integrating maps and web design. 

To start building the Tofurky 2023 Map, I created a data collection form in Survey123. Publishing the form instantly created a web map in ArcGIS Online, which updated live as people filled out the Tofurkey survey. I had some fun designing the map — simple changes to the base map and point symbol gave the Tofurkey Map a lighthearted feel. My favorite customization for the 2023 Tofurkey map is the little taxi symbol for the points. While searching for a more intriguing point symbol, I wanted to find something related to travel since some Smithies go off-campus for Thanksgiving Break. 


Once the survey was set up and the map was created, I turned to the ArcGIS Experience Builder. For people unfamiliar with this tool, Esri provides excellent documentation and online support — for each question I looked up, there were at least a couple of answers. (Resources varied from a general guide to a video walk-through to widget documentation). 

After a quick dive into the Tofurkey results, I found a few interesting trends in the data. The average temperature of where Smithies traveled is 45℉. Some Smithies traveled to places as cold as 30℉ and as warm as 82℉! (Wow — I wish I had gone there). 


Smithies’ favorite side dishes varied from sweet potato casserole to rolls to kale salad, but some were more popular than the rest. With the power of Microsoft Excel, I searched for popular dishes by using common words that appeared in peoples’ responses. The most common search words appeared in the following order: “potato” (23), “stuffing” (14), “cranberry” (11), “green” (6), “mac” (6), and “pie” (6). 


Thanks to all who participated! I most enjoyed learning how to use the Experience Builder, how to integrate multiple ArcGIS Online tools, and how other Smithies celebrate Thanksgiving.

Fish Fischer, ’24