Will Santa Get To My House on Time? How Microsoft Maps powers the Santa Tracker
News|by Gabrielle Alvear|18 December 2023
Have you ever wondered when and where exactly Santa will arrive in your neighborhood? Just like the gifts you’ve ordered to arrive before Christmas, you can always track Santa's ETA on the 24th of December with the rest of the world on NORAD’s Santa Tracker.
The NORAD Santa Tracker
From the North Pole to your city, NORAD (The North American Aerospace Defense Command) have been tracking Santa’s flight path across the globe every Christmas Eve for over 60 years.
Microsoft Mapping is an integral part of the Santa Tracker which provides real-time updates on Santa’s location using a Cesium 3D map.
Let’s step into his workshop to see what other technologies are used to track Santa’s delivery route.
The Technology Behind Santa's Tracker
NORAD’s Santa Tracker site is powered by a variety of hardware technologies, including GPS, RADAR, and Satellite. Alongside these technologies, Microsoft Maps helps visualise the exact location of things, including Santa’s route through different terrains and weather conditions.
Microsoft Mapping helps Santa by providing valuable insights into traffic patterns and other external factors that can affect his journey.
Bing Maps helps Santa through different terrain through their Elevation API to provide accurate tracking information, while Azure Maps provides the very latest in weather conditions as well as Accuweather for up to the minute forecasting.
We've outlined a couple more of the Azure features that power the Santa Tracker below such as Azure Front Door and Azure DevOps.
You’ll notice a new North Pole Village this year where you can enjoy many festive games, video, music and even learn more about various Christmas traditions around the globe. Azure Maps' Web Control is used to show this interactive map.
Azure Maps supports many languages and multiple configurations. You'll also notice that the Santa Tracker page is available to view in nine different languages, now including Korean.
Azure Front Door
Azure Front Door enables internet-facing applications, like the Santa Tracker, to accelerate and deliver content globally. Azure Front Door is Microsoft’s modern cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) that provides fast, reliable, and secure access between your users and your applications’ static and dynamic web content across the globe.
The NORAD Santa Tracker uses Azure DevOps for project and software lifecycle Management. Azure DevOps provides an integrated set of services and tools to manage your software projects, from planning and development through testing and deployment.
Enhance your Applications and Projects with Mapping Intelligence
Microsoft Mapping plays a crucial role in helping Santa deliver gifts on time. By leveraging the power of Microsoft Mapping, organisations like NORAD allow millions of people around the world track Santa’s journey in real-time and provide around the clock updates on his location.
While it’s understood that Santa prepares for one flight in the year, these Microsoft Maps APIs are available all year round and Grey Matter is here to help you build more powerful and intelligent mapping based applications and projects.
Contact Grey Matter
If you have any questions or want some extra information, complete the form below and one of the team will be in touch ASAP. If you have a specific use case, please let us know and we'll help you find the right solution faster.
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