Each year, NORAD takes to the sky and helps kids around the world to track Santa. Santa moves from place to place, city to city delivering gifts to the massive numbers of children throughout the world. To help kids to see where Santa is, and to provide a bit of geography education to kids, NORAD gets online to track Santa using GPS and animated programming. The program is a live view of Santa, using 2D graphics and using Google Maps. In addition, the program implements 3D Google Earth images into the representations.
If you have always wanted to see how Santa makes his way throughout the world, the NORAD Santa Tracker program is one of the best ways to do so. Kids just need to log into the website on Christmas Eve. There is nothing to download. There is no charge for the service. However, this project has been taking place since 1955 and it has become an annual tradition for many children throughout the world. Over the years, the program has gotten much more sophisticated, but the underlying goal and message is the same.
The program started in an interesting way. In 1955, Sears Roebuck created an ad instructing children to call Santa direct, on his private line, and to talk to him. People, including one man named Terri Van Keuren. As children called, Van Keuren pretended he was Santa. Soon, he decided to start telling kids where Santa was, in an effort to increase interest. From that point on, the program offered a service of telling kids, in one way or another, where Santa was throughout his flight from the North Pole.
Even if you missed using the NORAD Santa Tracker this year, the good news is that you can still use it next year. In addition, the website maintains the tracker’s videos of Santa throughout the month following his visit on Christmas Eve. Kids will love the idea of watching for Santa’s arrival.