Santa tracker face-off: Google vs NORAD
At Castleford Media, it’s no secret that we love all things to do with search and social media, and when it comes to apps and features to help us enjoy the holidays, our favourites are the ones that help us keep tabs on the man in red as he makes his once-a-year journey around the world.
NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been running an annual campaign to track Santa since the mid-1950s. Growing up in Canada, I remember hearing the Santa updates on the radio – and then later, seeing them feature as part of the weather report on the Christmas Eve news on TV.
In more recent years, NORAD has expanded its efforts to social media, using Facebook and Twitter to track Santa in real time on his epic December 24th journey. The NORAD Tracks Santa website now caters to users all over the world too – offering Santa-tracking updates in partnership with Microsoft’s Bing Maps.
But not to be outdone, Google has also gone into the Santa-tracking business – and has gone so far as to develop a brand new algorithm to help kids all over the world keep track of Santa’s progress with Google Maps.
“While we’ve been tracking Santa since 2004 with Google Earth, this year a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers built a new route algorithm to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve,” wrote Google Maps and Google Earth vice-president Brian McClendon on the search engine’s official blog.
Both NORAD and Google are even making provisions for families who are planning to be on the road this holiday season. You can follow Google’s Santa Tracker via a Chrome extension and an Android app, as well as Facebook and Twitter updates. Meanwhile, NORAD Tracks Santa is available as an app for Android, iPhone and Windows smartphones and tablets, and will also be offering social media updates throughout the night.
However you choose to celebrate the festive season, the team at Castleford Media want to wish you all the best for the holidays, and a healthy and happy new year!
Posted by Kaitlyn Critchley