|Where In The World Is Santa? Google and NORAD Keep Track|
|Written by Janet Swift|
|Sunday, 24 December 2017|
Today, Christmas Eve, Santa and his elves set off on their annual epic journey with reindeer to deliver presents to children all over the globe in just 24 hours. If you want to know where Santa is, and how far away he is from location, NORAD and Google have apps and websites to track his progress.
In this era of smart phone apps, Santa Trackers have become part of the holiday tradition. Don't you wish you had written such an app first!
To call Google's Santa Tracker an app is rather misleading. It's more a portal to lots of content by way of games and educational activities all on a Christmas theme, that will appeal to kids of all ages. Every days since December 1st new activities have been unlocked and they'll be available to play until the end of December.
During Christmas Eve you can track Santa's progress and discover a lot about the places he visits - including photos of the destinations and weather conditions. You can even explore for yourself using Google Street View.
It's easy to understand why Google, given its dominance of web technology should have a Santa Tracker app. But why does the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) have one? Its mission for every day of the year is to track airplanes, missiles, space launches and anything else that flies in or around the North American continent, and even before there was the Internet or smartphones to facilitate it, it has also tracked Santa's progress across. How this came about is a charming Christmas story:
The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.
The tradition has now become computerized and the NORAD site also has a countdown calendar. although the games in its arcade come from third parties.
NORAD Santa Tacker app comes into its own on Christmas Eve when it claims to uses its entire North Warning System of 47 radar installations to check for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole. Once Santa has set off the same satellites used to detect incoming missiles are used to track his progress. Located in a geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles above the Earth these satellites have infrared sensors, meaning they can see the heat given off by Rudolph the Reindeer's bright red nose.
So if you want to know where Santa is now you can find out courtesy of Google or NORAD - but remember that you have to be fast asleep when he arrives!
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|Last Updated ( Sunday, 24 December 2017 )|