My Google Map Blog

Tag: santa






Santa’s village on Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.25, 2014, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

We have in the past shared our holiday greeting card in the form of a KML file you can download and view in Google Earth.

This year, for Christmas, we have taken inspiration from our Halloween Pumpkin Earth decoration, originally created by Frank back in 2006. With additional inspiration from the Google Santa tracker, we created a model of Santa’s village to decorate Google Earth.

Santa's village

To view it in Google Earth download this KMZ file.

Village and Santa’s sleigh model design by my nephew Sipho Mateke
Santa model by David James.

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Christmas sightseeing in Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.23, 2014, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

In past years we have looked at Giant Santa’s and Christmas Trees in Google Street View (via Google Sightseeing).

This year we look at a reindeer near Ersfjordbotn, Norway that the Street View car followed down a road.

Reindeer in Norway
A reindeer in Norway. Found via Virtual Globe Trotting. See it in Street View.

A search for the world’s largest Santa Claus finds this article, claiming the statue in North Pole, Alaska is the largest, at 42 feet (12.8m) high.

Santa Claus statue North Pole, Alaska
Santa Claus statue, St Nicholas Drive, North Pole, Alaska. See it in Street View.

However, there has in past years been a statue in Auckland, New Zealand that at 18m (59 feet) was larger than the Alaskan one. But it seems that it was too expensive to maintain and has been mothballed for now. So to see it, you must look at historical Street View from November 2009.

Santa Claus, Auckland
Santa Claus statue, Auckland New Zealand. See it in Street View.

It is interesting to note that the little yellow Street View man is all dressed up for winter even though it is mid-summer here in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Track Santa in Google Earth

by Mickey Mellen on Dec.23, 2013, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

As they’ve done for years, Google is once again helping to track Santa’s journey around the world tomorrow! All of the action will be tracked on the official Santa Tracker site at google.com/santatracker. Santa’s journey will begin soon!

santa-tracker.jpg

To follow Santa while you’re on the go, there is a Santa Tracker app available for Android, which gives you easy mobile access to track his journey.  New this year is Chromecast integration, so you can stream Santa’s location live on your TV.

santa-tracker-android.jpg

Also, you can keep up with the latest via the Google Maps page on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about the 2013 Santa Tracker on the Official Google Blog.

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, there is also the separate NORAD Tracks Santa site.  Be sure to check out either one to help keep up with the big man as he makes his journey around the world.

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The countdown begins for Google’s annual Santa tracker

by Mickey Mellen on Dec.03, 2013, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Google’s annual “Santa Tracker” site is live, with new games and features being added each day from now until Christmas.  When Christmas comes, as they’ve done in years past, Google will help track Santa’s journey around the world.

google-santa-tracker

As we saw last year, there is also the (now separate) NORAD Tracks Santa site which is being powered by Microsoft.  The result on Christmas Eve is that Santa may appear to be in two different places at once if the maps aren’t in sync, but there are some good explanations for that.  Danny Sullivan did a great job of breaking down the differences in tracking software last year, including gems like this:

It might be that NORAD is somehow projecting Santa’s future location in an effort to help parents trying to usher their kids off to sleep. Personally, I long wished for this type of time-shifting, myself. Or perhaps Santa is moving so fast this year that NORAD’s systems are distorting the location. In the past, he was always spotted passing over particular places around midnight, by NORAD. Alternatively, maybe Google’s systems are lagging behind.

Regardless, it gives us two great sites to send the kids to look at and play with as the big day approaches.

As for Google’s technology, I expect we’ll see a pretty clever use of Google Maps and/or Google Earth on Christmas Eve.  Their about page promises the “latest and greatest in Google Maps technology and sleigh engineering“.  No matter how it turns out, it’ll be a fun day for all involved.  Check it out for yourself at google.com/santatracker.

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