Using Radar To Track Santa is Tough For Microsoft & GoogleMon, Dec 24, 2012 - 2:56 PM
Arch-rivals Microsoft and Google are both offering ways to track Santa Claus today, but the mapping services have St. Nick in totally different areas at the same time. Right now the Microsoft-sponsored NORAD’s Santa Tracker web site has Santa in Greece. The Google-sponsored Santa Dashboard, meanwhile, has him over Saudi Arabia! It looks like the two sites are having some issues with real-time reporting where Rudolph and his reindeer friends are pulling the sleigh. Maybe one of the sites has a delay or something! Just be sure to pick one and use it to track Santa!
Google sponsored NORAD’s Santa tracker from 2007 to 2011, but Microsoft took over the project this year, providing mapping technology and servers to help power the site. Google responded by creating Santa’s Dashboard for this Christmas season, but Sullivan said the precision offered by NORAD’s satellites likely is superior, offering it the ability to lock onto the position of the sleigh within a matter of inches. “They’ve been doing it for almost 60 years,” Sullivan said. “If you want to go for the most accurate location, you probably want to go with NORAD.” He said Google likely relies on alternative technology, such as tracking Santa’s in-sleigh WiFi signal, causing a possible lag in showing his exact location. Sullivan also guessed that Google was using an algorithm to estimate the numbers of gifts delivered, while NORAD might have the ability to identify individual gifts, and perhaps even smaller items such as stocking stuffers.