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Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve

Gansovsky Vladislav- Getty Images

If you’re planning on tracking Santa this year, it won’t be though Google.  The North American Aerospace Defense Command is switching to Microsoft’s Bing maps for its annual NORAD Tracks Santa project. A spokesperson for the project said “NORAD and Google have decided to go their separate ways and pursue other opportunities. “It was a mutually agreed upon decision that transpired earlier this year.”

NORAD had used Google Maps since 2007 for the interactive experience that lets smartphone users spot and pinpoint Santa in the command’s app as Mr. Claus makes his way around the world in a single night to deliver all of those toys to good little boys and girls. NORAD said its Track Santa app has been downloaded nearly 922,000 times through Apple’s iTunes, almost 558,000 times on Google Play for Android users, and about 2,500 times by Windows Phone 8 users.

NORAD began tracking Santa from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1955 when a small child called the base in hopes of speaking with Santa Claus. The base phone number was printed by mistake in a Sears newspaper ad and children placing calls to Santa were actually connected to the base, where base personnel played along.

If you don’t have a smartphone or would rather track Santa on your computer, you can do that here.

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