In a matter of hours, St. Nick will depart from the North Pole and begin his worldwide journey to deliver presents. Like in past years, it’s remarkably easy to track Santa through Google services on any device.
Santa Tracker was born out of Googlers thinking that it would be “even better if people could visualize exactly where Santa was on Christmas Eve.” Started in 2004, it has become more and more elaborate over the years. From 25,000 viewers at launch, it grew to 250,000 the next and a million in 2006.
The official Santa Tracker goes live on December 24 at 2 a.m. Pacific Time (5 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. GMT). Just after 10 p.m. local time, the big, red-suited man will make his first stop in far-eastern Russia.
A “Santa Stats” card will note how far the reindeer are from your location, as well as next stops and landing time. Google is leveraging its crowdsourced Local Guides program to display hundreds of seasonal photos in the bottom-right corner of the map.
In addition to being a website, there’s also an Android app that provides a near identical experience with countdown available in the top-right corner. Searching for “Santa Tracker” on Google will also link to the experience.
Until then, Google has an “exclusive video of the behind-the-scenes preparations,” while there’s a fun “View in 3D” experience of the man himself when you look up “Santa Search” on Google.
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