So, let’s say you’re a jolly fat man in a red and white coat and you want to deliver millions of toys to children on a HUGE long list. Your GPS is broken and you’re on a pretty tight deadline. How do you know where to tell your reindeer to guide your magical sleigh?
The answer: you pull up MapQuest on your laptop, of course. Why MapQuest instead of Google Maps, you might ask? Well it’s because MapQuest’s mapping and directions tool has added a new language called “Santa Speak,” which helps you navigate your merry sleigh through traffic.
You have to suspend disbelief a bit for this to work for you – after all, Santa’s reindeer know how to fly don’t they? And so Santa doesn’t really need to worry about traffic, and surely he’s got some North Pole magical elf-dust to sprinkle so he never crashes into aircraft and cars and migrating penguins.
If you go onto MapQuest and click on the flag at the top of the page and choose “Santa Speak,” you too can pretend your car is delivering presents to all of the good little girls and boys.
If you don’t think that you’ll be called in for any holiday present distribution duties any time soon though, you may just want to track Santa on Google Maps courtesy of NORAD and stay at home with a hot cup of cocoa instead…
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been tracking Santa and his sleigh since 1955. Since 2007, Google has partnered with the organization to make sure that Santa and his reindeer can be tracked in real-time using Google Maps.
The www.noradsanta.org website is now up for all to see with a special countdown timer to Christmas Eve. The website will release new holiday games that kids can play each day leading up to Christmas.
At 7 a.m. in the UK on December 24, the real-time tracking will commence and you can follow along Santa’s trek as he delivers toys to boys and girls all over the world.