Since 2012, Analytical Graphics, Inc. used Cesium and Bing Maps to develop the Santa tracker for NORAD Tracks Santa, a popular website that shows Santa’s current position on his journey around the globe on Christmas Eve. During the month of December each year, NORAD Tracks Santa receives approximately 20 million unique visitors.
Cesium was used to show Santa’s current position on a 3D globe, with 3D glTF models and global terrain, ocean, and imagery. Billboards were used to draw locations Santa visited. Camera flights smoothly transitioned the view when users clicked on a location to view videos of Santa and Wikipedia articles about the area.
For more details, see:
- Santa Tracker on the AGI website
- Santa Tracker: How GPUs Help NORAD Track Santa as He Navigates the Globe on the NVIDIA blog
- NORAD Tracks Santa: Behind the Scenes on the modern.IE blog
- NORAD Tracks Santa on Mozilla Hacks
- Building a WebGL Santa with Cesium and glTF and NORAD Tracks Santa Tech Preview on the Cesium blog