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Santa switches from Google to Bing for this year’s NORAD Santa Tracker

Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Saint Nick, Père Noël – whatever you call him, the big man is soon to be on his way around the world delivering presents. Those with impatient and excited young ones will no doubt have used the NORAD Santa tracker before, but this year there’s a difference.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has decided that this year it will ditch Google’s Maps system in favour of Microsoft’s Bing Maps after a 5 year partnership with Google.

“Google supported NTS [NORAD Tracks Santa] from 2007-2011 and helped increase NTS program awareness across the globe; NORAD is grateful for the partnership and the resulting success. This year, NTS and Google mutually agreed to go in new directions,” an NORAD spokesman explained.

Bing Maps will provide the 2D view, but if you want the 3D view that Google Earth provided in previous years, NORAD has partnered with a company called Cesium to offer something similar.

Not to be outdone, Google has announced that its engineers have built their own algorithm to predict where the big beardy man in red will be throughout Christmas eve, so if you’re a keen Googler then you can head there to track Santa on the day.

To rival Bing, Google has built a few tools to make tracking Santa both easy and fun. There’s a new extension for the Chrome browser as well as an app for Android devices. If that’s not enough, you can follow Mr Claus on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, courtesy of Google.

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