Santa Tracker Comparison 2023: Google vs. NORAD – Features & Technology Explored

santa tracker comparison Google vs NORAD


Santa trackers have become a festive and educational tradition, offering interactive experiences to follow Santa Claus's journey around the globe. Two of the most prominent Santa trackers are Google's Santa Tracker and the official NORAD Santa Tracker, each offering unique features and technology.

Google Santa Tracker

  • Technology & Features: Google's Santa Tracker is an interactive content experience that blends entertainment with educational elements. It features engaging graphics and activities in Santa’s Village, including coding games like “Code Lab” and “Code Boogie,” which teach basic programming skills. The tracker also includes sections on global holiday traditions, emphasizing cultural diversity, and integrates Google Translate for multilingual greetings.
  • Pros: It offers a wide range of activities suitable for all ages, including creative tools for drawing, painting, and building. The integration of Google Assistant adds interactive experiences like daily updates from the North Pole and Santa jokes.
  • Cons: While highly educational and engaging, it might be less focused on real-time tracking compared to NORAD's version.
  • Link:

    Google Santa Tracker

NORAD Santa Tracker

  • Technology & Features: The official 2023 NORAD Santa Tracker is a collaborative effort powered by Microsoft, Bing, Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Zillow. It features an immersive 3D tracker developed with Cesium and Bing Maps, providing realistic textures and a visually captivating experience. The site also includes educational content about holiday traditions worldwide, and integrates Azure DevOps for project management.
  • Pros: NORAD's tracker offers an advanced 3D tracking experience with realistic imagery, making it highly engaging for users interested in following Santa's journey more closely. It also provides educational content about global holiday traditions.
  • Cons: The focus is more on tracking and less on the interactive educational activities compared to Google's version.
  • Link:

    Norad Santa Tracker

Amazon's Role in NORAD Tracker

Amazon, through Amazon Connect, partners with NORAD to handle the influx of calls received on Christmas Eve. This cloud-based contact service allows over 1,250 volunteers to manage Santa-tracking queries, both onsite and remotely.

Both trackers offer unique experiences, with Google focusing more on educational activities and NORAD offering a more immersive tracking experience. Depending on what you are looking for - education or real-time tracking - either of these trackers would be a great choice for adding some holiday magic to your Christmas Eve.

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