10 Things You Didn’t Know about the Google Santa Tracker

For those who are curious, Google Santa Tracker is a Google entertainment program that happens in December. It is the main rival to NORAD’s Santa tracker, though it is a late-comer in comparison. However, the time when a Santa tracker started up has no real connection to its entertainment value, meaning that the Google Santa Tracker is well-worth checking out. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Google Santa Tracker:

1. It Is a Santa Tracker

Primarily, the Google Santa Tracker is a Santa tracker, meaning that it follows Santa Claus’s purported progress on Christmas Eve. It isn’t the first such service that can be found out there, but it is one of the better-known examples because of Google’s prominence.

2. Has Other Content

It is important to note that the Google Santa Tracker comes with other content as well. Some examples range from games to lesson plans, which can prove very useful for interested individuals. As a result, the Google Santa Tracker can be useful for more than a short window in December for those who are interested.

3. Based on NORAD Tracks Santa

It isn’t uncommon for companies to come up with new products and services based on the idea that they can improve on an existing product or service. In the case of Google Santa Tracker, the people at Google made it because they thought that they could improve upon NORAD Tracks Santa, which has been running since 1955.

4. Believed in Visualization

To be exact, the people at Google felt that it would be better if interested individuals could “visualize” the places that Santa Claus was visiting. As a result, one of the more interesting features of the Google Santa Tracker is that it will offer information about the places that Santa Claus is visiting as well as photos of said places for ease of visualization.

5. Some Cities Are Skipped

Unsurprisingly, some of the cities are skipped on the Google Santa Tracker. However, the choices for which cities are and are not skipped are a bit unclear. Generally speaking, it seems that the Google Santa Tracker is meant to cover a wider area because some of the larger cities in close proximity to one another were skipped whereas some of the smaller cities located far away from other cities were not.

6. Progress Is About One Timezone Per Hour

On the whole, Santa Claus makes good time on the Google Santa Tracker. Generally speaking, interested individuals can expect him to head westwards at about a rate of one timezone per hour, which makes sense because there are 24 time zones in total. However, this is an imprecise figure rather than something that has been metaphorically set in stone.

7. Santa’s Helpers Make an Appearance

Of course, Santa Claus is the star of the Google Santa Tracker. However, it is amusing to note that Santa Claus’s helpers have been known to make appearances as well. Primarily, this means the standard elves and reindeer. However, other winter-themed helpers such as penguins and snowmen have been known to show up.

8. Made Possible By Keyhole, Inc.

Initially, the Google Santa Tracker was made possible by Keyhole, Inc., which was bought out by Google in 2004. Primarily, Keyhole, Inc. was known for the Keyhole Earth Viewer, which should be more familiar to most people as what would become Google Earth.

9. Initial Audience Was Small

In those earliest times, the audience for the Google Santa Tracker was small. This is because the Keyhole Earth Viewer was a paid service, meaning that the size of its potential user base was much, much smaller than what it is now.

10. Expect Changes

The Google Santa Tracker is something that changes from year to year. As a result, while interested individuals can expect it to remain roughly the same in year after year, they shouldn’t be surprised to see changes from time to time. For example, it wasn’t until relatively recently that the Google Santa Tracker had a mobile app, which was a response to the increasing popularity of mobile devices in the modern consumer market.


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