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For the past few years I have been writing posts about Norad's Santa Tracker (once a partner of Google's) and how it works as a nice online activity to enjoy with your children and friends. Now that Microsoft's Bing has partnered with Norad, Google has gone all out and created their own Google Maps' Santa Tracker and until it launches on Christmas Eve, you can explore a fun interactive animated site with plenty of games and goodies or download a Google Chrome app for added entertainment.
above: screen grabs of the Village briefing and windtunnel
Santa’s many developer elves, who are hard at work in the North Pole helping Santa prepare for his big day, have combined their elf magic with the latest and greatest in Google Maps technology and sleigh engineering to allow you to follow his progress around the world, and also learn a little about some of his stops along the way.
above: a sneak preview of the Google Santa Tracker which launches on Christmas Eve.
Even without using Google chrome as your browser, you can enjoy the following at the Google Santa Tracker Site:
•Create a Custom Phone Call from Santa in the form of an mp3 file you can send to your friends (This is really cool. It takes a few minutes to make the first one, but it's worth it.)
•You (or your kids) can play one of three games that operates with your keyboard.
If you use Google Chrome, you can download the app and enjoy even more fun like a dashboard tracker, play around with Santa's blimp or elf bus and write messages on a frosty browser window.
•You can Follow Santa on Google+
The friendly elves have also invited you to explore Santa’s village while Santa gets ready for his journey. So go ahead and explore his village, you might just find some fun activities and meet some interesting elves.
The Google Maps Santa Tracker is created and developed by Google, with a little help from Santa’s elves. Need help or have another question? Visit their Help Center to learn more about Santa Tracker.