The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has partnered with Google the past five years to help kids track Santa. This year, however, NORAD announced it would be working with Bing and Microsoft. Not one to be left in the dust, Google announced its own Santa-tracking strategy on Wednesday that will supposedly rival NORAD’s. In years past, NORAD has been the best way to track Santa, but Google hopes to change that.
Available on Android devices, as well as online, the app goes live at 2 a.m. PST on Christmas Eve on Google Maps and Google Earth. There’s a brand new extension on Google Chrome as well. According to Eric Bidelman, a Google Chrome developer, you’ll be able to use the extension to follow the countdown to Santa’s departure before he takes off on Christmas Eve. Users can also play around with Santa’s blimp, elf bus, and write message on a frosty browser window.
“While we’ve been tracking Santa since 2004 with Google Earth, this year a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers built a new route algorithm to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve,” Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, said in an Official Google Blog post. “On his sleigh, arguably the fastest airborne vehicle in the world, Santa whips from city to city delivering presents to millions of homes.”