The battle between internet search engines for prominence on tracking down Santa’s route has taken a new turn, as a fresh war over who gets to officially “follow” Santa this year took a surprising turn.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) – which has been tracking Santa from 1958 – has announced its switching its annual Santa tracking partnership from Google to Bing.
For the last five years, Google was the official Santa tracking destination as it had a contract with the search engine giant, slashgear.com reported.
But now, after the two organizations decided to take “different paths”, NORAD has switched its allegiance to Bing, while Google has branched out and made a new route that charts Santa’s journey around the globe.
According to NORAD, they “coordinate with Santa’s Elf Launch staff” to follow the route, which they describe usually starting at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean, before heading west.
They said: “Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia.
“After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable.”
The tracking of Santa began in 1955, when the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), began tracking Santa and then later switched to NORAD three years later.
NORAD is a U.S. and Canadian military organization, whose duties include aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning, around the clock every day.
NORAD says it uses four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets.
But now Google says it will track Santa using a new algorithm created by Google Maps engineers.
Users will be able to log on and trace Santa’s route using Google Maps and Google Earth starting at 2:00 AM Pacific standard Time on Christmas Eve.
It remains to be seen whether both trackers will show the same route.