It’s that time of the year again when we all get to open new presents and hope for something awesome. But for children, it’s a lot more than that. The concept of Santa Claus is imprinted in their brains right from the child hood as they wait in anticipation for their Christmas presents, every time of the year. And now, to know when Santa might drop by at your place, you can track him thanks to Google and NORAD. These two competitive services offer the ability to track Santa, however we must warn you against using both of them simultaneously as you might find Santa to be in two different places. Until a few years ago, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) made use of Google Earth to bring this feature to the fore. But has since switched to Bing Maps, which meant it was only a matter of time until Google came up with a Santa Tracker of its own. Google’s tracker runs using data from both Maps and Google Earth, so one might give more emphasis to this one over NORAD.
Google’s Santa tracker is web based, which means you can’t access it from an app or anything but only from your desktop or mobile web browser. Honestly, I feel Google’s offering will do a better job of convincing kids that Santa is actually on his way. It also shows the kilometers/miles that Santa has travelled and the number of gifts distributed (so does NORAD), so that you can keep the warm milk and cookies ready just in time of his landing. Google’s Santa can be tracked at google.com/santatracker while NORAD’s Santa can be found at noradsanta.org. Moreover, NORAD has a Twitter handle dedicated to the Santa Tracker (@NoradSanta) which provides you real time updates on Santa’s status. And if users are particularly interested, NORAD has set up a team of volunteers to respond to query emails about Santa at firstname.lastname@example.org. NORAD Santa Tracker mobile apps are available on Android, iOS and Windows Phones respectively. There’s a phone line too – 1-877-446-6723.
As The Verge rightly suggests, people will find both NORAD’s and Google’s offering intriguing and fun and it will all come down to personal preference. These aren’t the only Santa Trackers that users can get hold of actually. A quick search through your respective app hubs will give you an idea as to how many Santas there are to be tracked. There’s still some time left for Christmas (depending on where you live), so make sure you spot Santa before the clock hits midnight.