Update 12/19/12: After we posted this story, we learned why NORAD had turned to Microsoft for Santa-tracking. Turns out the folks at Google Maps have created their own algorithm to track the red-suited one this Christmas Eve. Microsoft? Google? You decide. As noted below, we’ve already made our choice…

 

Original Post:

We were surprised and a little alarmed to learn that NORAD has dumped Google and switched to Microsoft’s Bing Maps to track Santa as he flies from the North Pole to homes around the world this Christmas Eve.

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noradNORAD’s Santa Tracker for 2009 is finally live. People around the world can now track Santa as he makes his way around the globe. The tracker uses Google Earth to allow users to see where Santa is at the moment and where he was previously. NORAD’s map even has some videos of Santa making his way through the sky on his sleigh.

Check out the official NORAD Santa Tracker site for the up-to-the-minute map. Alternatively, you can also use get updates on Santa’s whereabouts via Twitter and Facebook.

But Santa isn’t the only person that folks have been trying to track down lately. Recently, one of Santa’s elves went rogue, stole Santa’s sleigh with all of the children’s toys and ran away with them! BrickHouse Security promptly launched a contest asking people to help track down the Elf Gone Rogue by sending in photo clues, and fortunately the Elf Gone Rogue was caught just in the nick of time for Christmas. Check out the contest entries here with all of the neat photo clues that were sent in. If not for everyone’s help, NORAD might not have been able to track Santa’s sleigh at all this Christmas!

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tweecret-santaFor over 50 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has provided children with Santa’s tracking data around as he makes his way around the world. Last year, they even set up a web site for kids to use to track Santa live online.

This year Norad is taking another leap forward and will be spurring offshoots into social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Earth, and Flickr. On top of that, starting December 24th, through a partnership with OnStar, kids (and whoever else who is interested) will be able to get live Santa updates on their in-car GPS system.

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