It is that time of the year when an adorable old man dressed up in bright red visits children all over the world and gives them wonderful gifts. Having spent the entire time after the Christmas 2013 up at the North Pole, the Santa Claus has already started traveling round the globe on his reindeer drawn sledge.
Now that can be a daunting task- visiting millions of homes around the world in one night and leaving behind a gift that will light up the kids’ faces next morning. In a world where each of leaves behind digital footprints, technology has made it possible to track Santa’s trek round the world.
Those who want to see where the man with silvery white beard has reached and the progress made by him, Google first launched its Santa Tracker site. Visitors to this site can get an exact count of the number of presents delivered by Santa at that point of time besides knowing which part of the world he has reached.
Visitors to Google’s site can check out 360-degree imagery of each stop along his way, as well as Wikipedia snippets and geography facts about the locale. Not only that, Santa will also post “sleigh selfies” by Santa from time to time as well. Those who want to track Santa’s journey on their mobile phones can do so through the Android Santa Tracker app as well. Google users can even use Voice Search on any device to ask “Where is Santa?” to see his latest status.
“The elves have a busy month ahead of them—the reindeers need training and the presents need packing,” says Sandy Russell, Google’s Santa launch strategist in a blog post.
But then, Google is not the only one that is tracking Santa’s journey and whereabouts. As always, the U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is also busy tracking the big guy. The command center has been doing that since the last 59 years. Norad has partnered with Microsoft for a second year to track Santa on Bing Maps after previously teaming up with Google.
“This year the site offers a new daily countdown, calendar games, videos and even more holiday activities. It also offers a desktop and mobile site as well as the mobile apps available in the Windows, Android and iPhone stores,” he says.
The NORAD site had got nearly 19.6 million unique visitors from 234 countries last year as excited children wanted to check where he has reached.