Last week NORAD, which has tracked Santa since 1955, announced its new Internet Santa service. While it still tracks Santa and his reindeer on Christmas, it replaced Google Maps with Microsoft’s Bing Maps.
However, Google is not giving up. Using its Google Earth and Google Maps products, it is tracking Santa on its own this year with a new method. That means you have two Santa tracker options to pick from starting Christmas Eve.
Since 2004 Google has been tracking Santa with Google Earth, this year Google Maps engineers created a new way to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve.
The new Santa Tracker does not only live on the web at http://www.google.com/santatracker. There is now a new Chrome extension and Android app to let you follow Santa. In contrary, NORAD’s apps that are created in cooperation with Microsoft, are available for the iPhone and Android and Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
However, Google has more to offer on the entertainment front than NORAD. It is built out an entire Santa site where you can provide information about your a friend or family member and have Santa give them a call or send them an audio message via email. It also provides a few games. The Santa Racer game lets you navigate Santa’s sleigh through a track and collect presents and the Present Drop game lets you drop presents into moving chimneys.
Google and NORAD will begin actually tracking Santa on Christmas Eve.