- (Photo: Google Earth)
Go to Google Maps these days, and you'll notice a new option — "Follow Santa as he travels around the world on Google Maps."
Click the option to encounter NoradSanta.org, a website that features a countdown to Christmas as well as an option to track Santa in Google Earth. Santa's commute can't be an easy one. One night, millions of stops? Sounds like a WMATA ride from hell, and all while hunkered in that tiny sleigh. He and his reindeer, more than anyone, suffer the worst of holiday transportation.
The site offers a recap of the 2010 voyage in anticipation of this year's, which will begin on the 24th: NORAD has, they report, tracked Santa for years. The organization included an explanation for the map last year:
Apparently, Santa will have a fighter escort when traveling in the U.S. There are also Santacams.
You can follow Santa on Google Earth starting soon here and see just when the jolly figure reaches Washington, D.C. Google is offering a nice service here, and I like our transportation technology and tracking has come to dovetail with holiday traditions. I could never have imagined something like this as a child, but I picture kids today loving the Google Earth feature. Check it out for yourselves as the holiday approaches. With luck, Santa will even bring some sweet transportation-themed gifts.