Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) are once again teaming up to track Santa’s Christmas Eve trek across the globe.
Beginning Dec. 24 at 2:01 a.m. EST, visitors to the NORAD Tracks Santa site can use 2D and 3D tracking maps created by AGI— known as Santa Trackers — to follow Santa on his annual present-delivery mission.
The 3D Santa Tracker provides an interactive experience that lets you pan and zoom around key stops on the journey. If your computer doesn’t meet the 3D requirements, a 2D tracker with the same information-gathering features will let you watch Santa.
The 3D tracker uses Cesium, an open-source virtual globe founded by AGI; the 2D tracker was built with Bing Maps.
Santa’s journey begins at the North Pole, after which he heads west from the International Date Line. “Santa Cams” stationed around the globe stream video of Old St. Nick as he passes famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China and even NORAD’s Colorado Springs headquarters.
If you are unable to follow Santa online, you can talk to a live operator to inquire about Santa’s whereabouts beginning Dec. 24 at 6 a.m. EST by dialing 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Between now and Dec. 24, NORAD will provide countdown activities for believers of all ages in eight languages. New this year is a family-friendly app developed by AGI that uses the company’s free Systems Tool Kit (STK) technology. “Starkey the Space Elf” is an elf that travels through space to ensure children around the world are on their best behavior. Interact with Starkey on his travels here.