April 17, 2024
Google and NORAD Launch Santa Trackers for Christmas 2023

Google and NORAD Launch Santa Trackers for Christmas 2023

Posted December 24, 2023 at 11:57pm by iClarified
Google and NORAD in partnership with Microsoft have launched their respective Santa Trackers for Christmas 2023.

The Google Santa Tracker is an annual holiday tradition that allows people to follow the journey of Santa Claus as he travels around the world delivering presents on Christmas Eve. The tracker is available online and as a mobile app, and it features a variety of interactive games, activities, and educational content related to Christmas and the winter holidays.

Google and NORAD Launch Santa Trackers for Christmas 2023

Google and NORAD Launch Santa Trackers for Christmas 2023

The NORAD Santa Tracker is run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a joint military organization between the United States and Canada that is responsible for the air, land, and sea defense of North America. Working with Cesium, a platform for developers to build web-based 3D map apps, NORAD has built a 3D tracker that displays Santa's whereabouts. The 3D tracker app uses Bing Maps satellite imagery to give a realistic texture to the 3D globe rendered by the CesiumJS library.

For devices that do not support 3D, the app falls back to a 2D map. That tracker map displays a pin marking Santa's current location for you to follow. You can also learn more about each location Santa visits by clicking on an icon that brings up Wikipedia articles and Santa Cam videos that you can play. Visit the website here or download the iOS app here.

Notably, it's also possible to track Santa by calling 1-877-HI-NORAD. This year the NTS Call Center takes up residence in Hangar 123, a structure that portends to a military operation more becoming of two of NORAD's missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control. The new location harkens to the beginning of the program in 1955 when a young child, trying to reach Santa, mistakenly called the unlisted number of Continental Air Defense Command's Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, thus beginning NORAD's one-day mission of tracking Santa.

"Being in Hangar 123 roots the program squarely in the operational context that it came from," said NTS program manager 1st Lt. Sean Carter. "Over the years, this particular program has experienced several different iterations, sometimes leaning more into the festivities of the holiday season, other times celebrating the whimsy. Ultimately, tracking Santa is a military operation, and having Hangar 123 as the new home to the call center couldn't be more appropriate."

Google and NORAD Launch Santa Trackers for Christmas 2023
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