Google has teamed up with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) this Christmas Season to track Santa as he travels around the world delivering presents to boys and girls on the night before Christmas.
Children and the young at heart can visit http://www.noradsanta.org to play holiday games and activities, that change daily, prior to the big day. On December 24, the site goes into full tracking mode and will stream videos, captured by NORAD’s “Santa Cams”, from various cities and locales along Santa’s route. In addition, beginning at 2 AM EST on Christmas Day, visitors to the NORAD site can watch Santa check his list, ready his sleigh, and make final adjustments to ensure he has a successful trip.
This year, NORAD/Google have included social media. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all been tapped to be a part of the tracking effort. Simply enter noradsanta into any of the site’s search utilities to start following the journey through your favorite social media application.
Google has provided full integration with its existing products, including Google Earth and YouTube to broadcast videos of the trip. Tracking will be available to users who have Google Earth’s application installed, providing 3D views of the trip and allowing users to see Santa’s most recent status update. Additionally, YouTube will be utilized to broadcast videos prior to the trip as well as in trip video utilizing the aforementioned Santa Cams.
General Motors’ OnStar service has also joined in the effort this year and will be providing its subscribers with live Santa tracking updates as they travel in their OnStar-equipped vehicles on Christmas Eve. OnStar subscribers can press their blue button to get live updates on Santa’s location.
NORAD has also staffed a call center to field calls from boys and girls as they track Santa Claus. Beginning at 6 AM EST on Christmas Eve, boys and girls can call 877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723), or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if they wish to receive live updates from the trackers themselves.
Will you and your family be tracking Santa via Google Earth or social media this Christmas?