Santa Claus is coming to Google Earth

It’s that time of year again, and NORAD is once again preparing their very popular “Santa Tracker” to follow Santa around the world on Christmas Eve. The new 2010 site has just gone live in preparation for the holiday.

Last year’s tracker was astoundingly popular, with over 13 million people from 231 countries visiting the NoradSanta.org site, and I’d expect that number to keep growing every year.

Santa Tracker

Of course, the actual tracker doesn’t go live until December 24. In the meantime, they introduce new games every day in “Santa’s Village“. They tend to be rather simple games (yesterday was tic-tac-toe), but the music and environment add some fun if you play them with your kids.

NORAD (and its predecessor, CONAD) have been tracking Santa every year since 1955. The addition of tools such as Google Earth and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have only served to help increase the spread the of this fun tradition. To keep up with the latest happenings from the North Pole, you can join their Facebook Page (with a remarkable 386,000 fans) or follow them on twitter at @NoradSanta.

My girls will certainly be following along this year, as they had a great time watching him last year. How about you? Did you follow along last year with your kids? Looking forward to doing it again?

(via Lat Long Blog)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving in Google EarthTomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the US, and I had planned to be up in Michigan hanging out with relatives, but we’re staying home in Atlanta with a few sick little girls. Tomorrow morning I was going to run the Turkey Trot 10K in Detroit, which would have been pretty cool. You can view the route in Google Earth (KML), thanks to MapMyRun.

Instead, I’ll be taking it easy and enjoying time with family, eating the big meal, and watching the Lions lose.

A few years ago, Frank created the world’s largest Thanksgiving greeting card. You can check it out in Google Earth. Feel free to share the link with your friends or family. (By the way, if you look closely, you’ll see a placemark with a turkey icon. Check out the placemark for a little Thanksgiving trivia.)

New Google Earth Imagery – November 16

As pointed out by GEB readers ‘Munden’ and ‘Steven’, Google has just pushed out some fresh new imagery!

augusta.jpg

As is usually the case, you can use Google Maps to determine for sure whether or not a specific area is fresh. This new imagery isn’t in Google Maps yet, so you can compare Earth vs. Maps to see what’s new; the fresh imagery is already in Google Earth, but the old imagery is still in Google Maps. If you compare the two side-by-side and they’re not identical, that means that you’ve found a freshly updated area in Google Earth!

[UPDATED -- 17-November, 3:01pm EST]

  • Argentina: Buenos Aires — thanks ‘Daniel’
  • Austria: Vienna — thanks ‘Joeran’
  • Canada: Saskatchewan — thanks ‘Steven’
  • China: Various areas — thanks ‘Munden’
  • Faroe Islands: — thanks ‘Munden’
  • France: Bretagne — thanks ‘Martin’
  • Indonesia: Southern part of Jakarta — thanks ‘okasbali’
  • Romania: Timisoara — thanks ‘twist3r’
  • Russia: Losino-Petrovsky, Lugovaya, Mendeleyevo, Monino and Povarovo — thanks ‘Munden’
  • United States: Georgia (Augusta), Indiana (Evansville), Louisiana (Baton Rouge), New Jersey (Trenton), North Carolina (Wilmington), South Carolina (Charleston, Columbia), Texas (Fort Hood), Wisconsin (Madison) — thanks ‘Dan’, ‘McMaster_de’, ‘Munden’, ‘Scott’ and ‘Steven’

If you find any other updated areas, please leave a comment and let us know!