Santa Cams, Twitter Updates Part Of 2008 Site
It's that time of year again... and
in between monitoring US airspace and keeping an eye on
wayward Russian Bears, the North American
Aerospace Defense Command is again getting ready to track
The NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) Web site went live December 1,
featuring fun holiday games and activities that change daily. On
December 24, Christmas Eve, NORAD will begin tracking Santa Claus'
journey via live video feeds that begin at 3:00 am PST/6:00 am
The Web site, designed by Booz Allen Hamilton, allows fans of
all ages to get up-to-the-minute reports and streaming videos from
key stops on Santa's trip around the world. Google software will
output live images from NORAD's high-speed digital 'Santa Cams,'
and Google Maps and Google Earth will follow Santa as he travels
around the world.
All of this information is available in English, French, German,
Italian, Japanese, Spanish -- and new this year, Chinese. In
addition, for the first time, Canada Post will partner with NORAD
to ensure children around the world can send an email to Santa
through the NTS Web site. The NTS program is carried out with the
assistance of many corporate partners.
According to a recently article in Scientific American, kids of
all ages will also be able to upload their own pictures from around
the world, and Twitter from their cell phones about the momentous
"We're just trying to give everyone the opportunity to track
Santa on Christmas," said Maj. Stacia Reddish, manager of the NORAD
Tracks Santa program.
The NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) program began on December 24, 1955,
after an errant phone call was made to the Continental Air Defense
Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, CO. The call
was from a local youngster who dialed a misprinted telephone number
in a local newspaper advertisement. The commander who answered the
phone that night gave the youngster the information requested --
the whereabouts of Santa Claus.
This began the tradition of tracking Santa Claus, a tradition
that was carried on by NORAD when it was formed in 1958. This
Christmas marks the 50th anniversary of NORAD tracking Santa Claus
as he goes around the world delivering presents.
The NTS program has grown immensely since first presented on the
Internet in 1998. In 2007, the Web site received 10.6 plus million
unique visitors from 212 countries and territories. In addition,
the NTS Operations Center, occupied by 1,012 volunteers on
Christmas Eve, answered nearly 95,000 phone calls and received
140,000 emails from families around the world.