For years, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has used Google Maps to operate its vaunted Santa-tracking software, a holiday tradition for nerds of all stripes, as well as their often equally nerdy kids. This year, though, NORAD unexpectedly bailed on Google, switching to Bing to help it map Santa’s trek around the world and ensure he doesn’t get up to any shenanigans while he’s in American airspace. Not to be outdone, the spurned tech giant has launched its own platform for keeping tabs on St. Nick’s travels. These dueling platforms, though, leave us with a dilemma — which tracker is showing us the real Santa? And perhaps more importantly — what is that impostor Claus up to? Nothing good, you can be sure of that.
We’re inclined to trust NORAD on this one, as frankly, they do pretty good work keeping our skies clear of enemy fighter jets (yes, this is a major concern. Red Dawn made a real impact when we were kids.) and frankly, nobody ahs been in the Santa-tracking business for longer than the American military. NORAD is the voice of experience when it comes to keeping tabs on the jolly guy in the red suit, and that counts for quite a lot.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that our lives are largely run by Google now. I trust the company to store my most personal secrets in Gmail, and bring me answers to every question that pops into my mind courtesy of their bread and butter search engine. Add to that the fact that no one is better at making online maps right now — a fact Apple found out to its chagrin earlier this year — and it’s difficult to come up with a compelling reason to trust Google 364 days out of the year, but not for this.
How are you all planning to watch Santa’s trip across the skies today?
- NORAD’s tracker is a tradition up there with the watching of Die Hard
- Santa seems to have traded up from the reindeer this year
- We don’t like Santa’s chances in a rap battle against Snoop-Moses