Wednesday, 24 December 2008

NORAD Santa tracking 2008 - this year integrated into even more Google products!

NORAD (the North American missile defence organisation) have been tracking Santa since the 1950's. What started as the result of an innocent mix up has now evolved into an annual tradition, where every Christmas Eve NORAD updates the world on Santa's present delivering progress.

NORAD tracks SantaNORAD Santa tracking welcome page!

NORAD interactive Santa trackingNORAD interactive Santa tracking (click for larger image)

In recent years Google have helped NORAD to enhance their tracking information. In 2007 Google integrated Google Earth, Google Maps and YouTube into NORAD Santa tracking.

NORAD 3D tracking on Google EarthNORAD Santa 3D tracking on Google Earth

For 2008 Google have enhanced things further, adding Panoramio images to locations, a Twitter account under the username of @noradsanta and Google Mobile Maps functionality (just search 'Norad Santa' from Google Mobile Maps!)

NORAD Santa on TwitterNoradSanta on Twitter! (click for larger image)

This is a great demonstration of how new technologies can improve longstanding traditions. The integration of NORAD Santa tracking to Google Earth, NoradSanta on Twitter, YouTube Santa Cam's and NORAD Santa on mobile platforms brings NORAD Santa tracking to life and enhances the experience for millions of people all over the world - catch him while you can!

Santa Cam showing Santa flying over Mount Everest!

Related posts
5 examples of how the internet was used around Christmas 2007
Tracking Santa: The Back Story - Google Lat Long Blog
Tracking Santa: The Back Story - Official Google Blog
The Santa Countdown Begins - Official Google Blog

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Ryan Fitzgibbon said...

This is a lovely tradition. It's nice to see fun things like this being done just for the enjoyment factor.

I was first informed of this by my grandmother, who was adamant that Google had created a Santa that was flying all over the world. However, she wasn't able to follow my argument when I suggested that it was probably a CGI Santa on Google Earth!

Thanks for clearing this one up for me Nick. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Nick Burcher said...

The only drawback is if you are in Scandinavia. The presents have already been delivered and opened by the evening of Christmas Eve so you don't get to watch him on the tracker - I guess it is the first stop after Lapland!

Hope you have a good Christmas / NY too.