NORAD and their Santa Tracker effort recently jumped ship from Google Maps over to Microsoft’ Bing Maps and the power of Windows Azure technology. What does that mean for Google exactly? It means that Google has decided to make a tracking app of their own, available for Android devices and Google Chrome.
Google’s Santa Tracker doesn’t do much right now, just like the NORAD version. The real fun begins at 2:00 PST on Christmas Eve as Santa begins his epic journey to deliver this year’s batch of toys. Once the app starts its departure, you’ll see the number of presents delivered, his route plan and when he’ll arrive to your part of the globe. As you probably have figured out by now, the app is powered by Google Maps.
Interestingly enough, you can also use Google Voice to request a personal call from old Saint Nick as well, though only for those of us in North America.
It remains unseen how many people will choose this app over the official NORAD one, but it is still an interesting option for those that feel NORAD should have stuck with Google Maps.[ source ]