Links: Tracking Santa, Netherland Statistics, Boat Parades, OpenAerialMap

  • Tracking Santa – As mentioned earlier, Google has officially teamed up with Norad to track Santa on Christmas Eve using Google Earth. Google has used data from Norad during the last two years, but Google Earth is the official Santa tracking software from Norad this year. The tracking doesn’t begin until Christmas Eve, but while you’re waiting you can visit the web site and each day they will either have a game or a tutorial on how to use Google Earth features. See Google’s announcement.

  • Netherland Statistics – Received an E-mail from GEB reader Edwin, that the web site Statistics Netherlands has published Google Earth content showing statistics about neighborhoods in their country. The Google Earth file (English version , Dutch version ), is well done. As you zoom into neighborhoods in the Netherlands you see the outlines of the neighborhood properties and placemarks with statistical information. Details like population, gender, salaries, ages, etc. The kinds of information you would get from a census, but at the neighborhood level.

  • Boat Parades – EarthNC has published a collection of placemarks and information on Christmas boat parades. These are great to watch as the boats are dressed up in pretty lights and parade down a waterway at night.

  • OpenAerialMap – This new site has been set up to collect and host freely available aerial imagery. Imagery from unmanned aerial aircraft, kites, or other sources may be submitted. The idea is to make the imagery openly available for anyone to use. There are restrictions on imagery found in Google Earth and other sources for commercial applications. My friends at Pict’Earth are already uploading some of their content. I plan to upload some of my photos. via Pict’Earth and O’Reilly Radar.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. “Municipality: Ede
    Neighbourhood: Reemst
    Population (2006)
    Number of inhabitants: 50
    Number of men: 30
    Number of women: 30”
    LOL. 20% of the inhabitants seem to have transgender problems. 😉

  2. Tracking santa is by far the most funny service I have sawn for years 😉

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