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This Year, Track Santa in Real Time and 3D

If tradition in your home is to track Santa with the kids on Christmas Eve, it’s going to be even more exciting this year.

This Christmas Eve, you and the kids will be able to follow Santa through NORAD more closely than ever thanks to a new 3D globe that will let you pinch and zoom to track Santa’s location in real time.

NORAD has been helping kids and parents track Santa Clause every Christmas Eve for more than 50 years and this year they’ve teamed up with Microsoft to transform their website into a full Christmas hub with games, music and new ways to get live updates about where Santa is.

The new website has been optimized for tablets with new apps for Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone, which feature live tiles that let you track Santa from the home screen.

A lot of the content is the same from past years, but it’s all packaged up in a sleek new design that looks like the Claymation style of classic holiday movies. Instead of drop-down menus using Flash, it’s easier on the eyes and allows you to swipe between pages on a tablet.

On Christmas Eve, NORAD will roll out a touch-enabled 3D globe that will light up when Santa starts the night. You’ll be able to spin the globe with your fingers or zoom in to get a closer look at the stops. The site will also use Bing Maps to plot Santa’s destination spots throughout the night.

Oh, and that’s not all. Skype capability has been added to the site and apps, so kids can make free calls to NORAD’s volunteers staffed on Christmas Eve that let you check in on Santa’s status.

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