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Microsoft's Bing Maps to supply satellite imagery for NORAD Santa tracker

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Microsoft has partnered with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to provide satellite imagery for its Santa tracker this year. NORAD has worked with Cesium to develop a 3D Santa tracker that uses satellite imagery supplied by Bing Maps.

For devices that may not support the 3D version of the tracker, a 2D map has been developed that also uses Bing Maps APIs to deliver various features. Those who access the tracker from December 24 will be able to track Santa’s current location. As he travels the world you’ll be able to pull up Wikipedia articles about his current location to learn more about the place and view Santa Cam videos.

As mentioned, the tracker won’t go live until closer to Christmas but if you want to head over to noradsanta.org now you can do so to listen to Christmas music, play games, read books about Christmas, learn about NORAD, and more. There are also links to the Android and iOS mobile apps if you’d prefer to access the materials on mobile.

While in recent years NORAD’s Santa tracker has become more digital-first, the service has actually been going on since 1955 and families were able to call up a phone number to learn the whereabouts of Santa.

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