We have produced two versions of our Santa Tracker.
Santa is expected to take off on December 24th at 10am UTC. If you are not sure what time that is in your time zone you can use Google’s count down clock instead.
Google Earth Santa Tracker
We recommend the Google Earth API version as it produces a better experience overall.
Google Earth API based version.
You will need a browser that is compatible with the Google Earth API. We have tested it on Firefox and believe that Safari should also work. Google Chrome no longer supports it. To begin, open the link above in a compatible browser. Firefox will ask you to ‘Activate Google Earth’ and then you have the option to ‘Allow’ or ‘Allow and Remember’. Select the latter option then refresh the page. It should now show you Santa’s Village in Google Earth. If Santa is already delivering presents then it will shortly fly you to Santa. Before and after Santa’s flight it will continue to circle Santa’s village.
At the bottom of the page you will see options to show Santa’s planned route, time markers to show roughly where he is expected to be at any given time (the figures show hours and minutes after the start of his journey), country borders and labels and a mini-map.
For a short video tutorial on the Google Earth API version see Frank’s video featured in this post.
Google Earth based version.
To use the Google Earth based version download the KML from the link above. The Google Earth based version uses a tour to follow Santa. However we were not able to figure out a way to automatically start or restart a tour from a network link. In addition, Google Earth struggles with very long tours. So we have decided to use a tour length of 10 minutes. To start the Tour look for ‘Play me’ and double click it. The network link with the tour in is set to automatically refresh ever 10 minutes but as we mention above it does not automatically restart the tour. You can at any point manually refresh the link an restart the tour yourself and it should show Santa’s latest position. Before and after Santa’s flight the tour will show Santa’s village instead of Santa.
You can also hide his planned route if you wish by deselecting it, and there is also a tour of Santa’s Village available.
Santa as seen from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In real life it will be close to midnight so the view will be quite different.