Ever wonder how NORAD is able to track Santa Claus’s progress around the globe on Christmas Eve?
Since 2012, Analytical Graphics, Inc. has used Cesium and Bing Maps to power the Santa tracker for NORAD Tracks Santa. Today, the popular website attracts more than 20 million visitors wanting to keep tabs on Santa during his magical Christmas Eve journey.
Cesium plays an important role in bringing NORAD Tracks Santa to parents and children worldwide. Its innovative mapping technology is used to show Santa’s current position on a 3D globe, which uses 3D glTF models to create realistic global terrain, oceans, and imagery. Billboards are used to indicate locations that Santa has already visited, and camera flights smoothly transition the view when users click on a location to view videos of Santa in flight or Wikipedia articles about the areas he’s visited.
For more details, see:
- NORAD Santa Tracker
- Santa Tracker: How GPUs Help NORAD Track Santa as He Navigates the Globe on the NVIDIA 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