Entries in NORAD (4)


Santa Tracker Race: Google’s Santa Tracker vs. NORAD

Google(NEW YORK) -- Only on the Internet could you find two tech companies competing to track Santa. Last week NORAD, which has tracked Santa since 1955, announced its new Internet Santa service. While it still tracks Santa and his reindeer on Christmas, it replaced Google Maps with Microsoft’s Bing Maps.

But Google’s not giving up on the business of tracking Mr. Claus. Using its Google Earth and Google Maps products, the Internet search giant is tracking Santa on its own this year with a new algorithm. Yes, that means you’ve got two Santa tracker options to pick from starting Christmas Eve.

 “While we’ve been tracking Santa since 2004 with Google Earth, this year a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers built a new route algorithm to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve,” VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, Brian McClendon, wrote on the Official Google blog this week.

The new Santa Tracker doesn’t only live on the web. There is now a new Chrome extension and Android app to let you follow Santa. Conversely, NORAD’s apps, which it has worked on in partnership with Microsoft, are available for the iPhone and Android and Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

However, Google’s got more to offer on the entertainment front. It’s built out an entire Santa site where you can provide information about a friend or family member and have Santa give them a call or send them an audio message via email. There’s also a few games. The Santa Racer game lets you navigate Santa’s sleigh through a track and collect presents and the Present Drop game lets you drop presents into moving chimneys.

Google and NORAD will begin actually tracking Santa on Christmas Eve. No word on if Santa himself plans to use Google or Bing Maps to get to all his destinations; let’s just hope he steers clear of using Apple’s.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NORAD Santa Tracker: A Christmas Eve Tradition

NORAD/Facebook(PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.) -- On Christmas Eve, children all around the world will lie awake wondering if, at any moment, Santa Claus will slide down their chimneys and leave the presents of their dreams. But all they really have to do is call in or go online to find out where Santa and his team of reindeers are at any given moment.

Every year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa’s journey around the world, using radar, satellite, fighter aircraft and, of course, a “Santa Cam.”

The tradition began as so many do -- by accident. In 1955, a little girl who saw a Sears and Roebuck ad called in to what she thought was a Talk-to-Santa hotline. But she did not hear Santa Claus on the other end of the line.

Instead, she heard Col. Harry Shoup. He was working in the CONAD ops center (NORAD’s predecessor) and was shocked to hear a child’s voice. According to a NORAD spokesperson, John Cornelio, only two people had the number for that line -- the president and the four-star  commander.

As it turned out, the department store had printed the wrong number in the ad and alas, a tradition was born.

“It’s the innocence of the story that makes it so special,” Cornelio said. And Harry Shoup was given a new title -- he is known as  Santa Colonel.

Since that innocent phone call more than 50 years ago, NORAD tracks Santa’s progress around the globe, year after year.

To track his journey this Christmas Eve, you can visit the NORAD website, or call in to 877-HI-NORAD.

The NORAD Santa Tracker also uses social media to connect with Santa enthusiasts. NORAD has Facebook and Twitter pages, and a YouTube channel. And this year, for the first time, NORAD has a smart phone application for Andriod and iPhone users.

NORAD expects more than 80,000 phone calls and 20 million people using its website to track Santa this year.

So come Christmas Eve, when not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse, break the silence and see just how close Santa is to bringing joy to your area.

Copyright 2011 ABC News


First Lady Helps Kids Track Santa

Photo Courtesy - WireImage/Getty Images(KAILUA, Hawaii) -- First lady Michelle Obama spent more than 40 minutes on the phone with children Friday, aiding NORAD in answering Christmas Eve queries from kids as to where Santa is, and how soon he will be at their home.

"You know that Santa only comes after boys and girls have gone to sleep, no matter where he is in the world," Mrs. Obama said to each of the children callers, "so Santa won't be at your house until you’re fast asleep, okay?"

While Mrs. Obama was on the phone, according to her readout of the NORAD radar, Santa spanned several parts of Africa and into Europe.

"The radar shows that it looks like the vehicle is being pulled by all nine reindeer and it’s pretty full of toys," Mrs. Obama assured the children.

The first lady asked the children callers if they had been good this year, to which all of them answered affirmatively.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Emirates Flight from Dubai Escorted into Kennedy Airport

Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed Friday it was tracking Emirates flight 201, a Boeing flying from Dubai to New York's Kennedy Airport.  The flight, scheduled to land at 3:15 p.m. EST, was thought to have a package of interest on board.

Sources say, however, there is no known threat connected to this flight other than the fact that its cargo is traveling from Yemen.

Two U.S. F-15 fighter jets, under continuous control of NORAD, began escorting the aircraft when it entered U.S. airspace.  The flight was previously escorted by Canadian F-18s while traveling over Canadian airspace.

The plane was escorted to a remote area of Kennedy Airport where it was met by the FBI and the Port Authority Police Department.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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