For anyone wanting to keep tabs on where Santa Claus travels on Christmas Eve, well, there’s an app for that.
Google’s Santa Tracker, which was first launched in 2004, keeps tabs on Santa’s location the night before Christmas. But before the tracker starts mapping Santa’s location on Dec. 24, this year, Santa’s Village features a number of Christmas games, including several that let you test your coding skills. You can also compete in a wrap battle to see who can package and tie up the most gifts with the most skill. There’s even a translation area, where you can learn how to say phrases like “season’s greetings” and “happy new year” in more than 20 languages, including, yes, Elvish.
Santa Tracker is not just a place to play games, learn coding skills and create art. It’s also a large, real-world app that shows off Google Maps Platform capabilities. Check it out → https://t.co/XKifZuFPiK pic.twitter.com/f00eKnZFpY
— Google Maps Platform (@GMapsPlatform) December 21, 2018
If playing cool math, coding, and drawing games in Santa’s Village isn’t enough to satisfy your holiday break boredom, it’s also worth noting Google has plenty of other interactive Google Doodle games to play while you’re waiting to see where the sleigh lands next.
Not just because of the games—though they certainly differentiate the two—Google’s Santa Tracker is different than the Santa Tracker run by NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. NORAD has been tracking Santa’s annual gift deliveries for over 60 years on its own website and is an all-volunteer run program that, much like Santa, carries on no matter the political climate or inclement winter weather.
In the event of a government shutdown, NORAD will continue with its 63-year tradition of NORAD Tracks Santa on Dec. 24. Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year. pic.twitter.com/fY0oyjrdDc
— NORAD & USNORTHCOM (@Norad_Northcom) December 21, 2018
Try comparing the two sites because NORAD and (GOOG, -3.11%) Google tend to use different data to track Santa and his route. And be sure to check out NORAD’s Santa’s Village, which includes a library of information about Santa, his elves and reindeer, and of course, the joint U.S.-Canada history of aerospace and maritime defense.