Every Christmas Eve, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) would help children around the world track Santa’s location. The tradition started back in 1955 when an advertisement by a department store which told children that they could telephone Santa Claus printed NORAD phone number by mistake. Since then, NORAD has been tracking Santa using telephone hotline, radio and television. NORAD started using Google Maps to track Santa in 2007.
This year, NORAD will be using Bing Maps instead of Google Maps to track Santa. The NORAD Tracks Santa page list Microsoft, Bing Maps and Windows Azure as the corporate sponsors. Besides using Bing Maps on the website, kids can also track Santa using NORAD Tracks Santa mobile apps that is available on Windows Phone, iOS and Android.
While this is a good chance for Microsoft to showcase their technology, it is sad to see the Santa tracker becoming commercialized. And to make things worse, Google is also doing a Santa tracker on Christmas eve. So what if Bing Maps and Google Maps show Santa at different location at the same time? How will parents explain to their kids?
So which map will you be using to track Santa this Christmas Eve? Bing or Google?