December 25, 2008

Poser 7 Animation Used by Google, Norad to Create Santa Tracker 2008

Aliso Viejo, Calif. - Smith Micro Software Inc. Consumer and Compression Group announced that NORAD's Santa Tracker 2008 will use Poser 7 and animated 3D characters to track Santa Claus on his annual journey around the world.
The international command tasked with providing aerospace security for North America announced that the NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) Web site is live at

Last year, Google teamed up with NORAD to bring Santa Tracker to a global audience using Google Maps and Google Earth. This year, NORAD once again uses Google technology to instantaneously transmit the information from the NORAD radars, satellites, fighter jets, and Santa Cams to the NTS Web site.

NORAD has been tracking Santa since December 24, 1955 when a Colorado Springs newspaper ran a local Santa Claus ad with a misprinted phone number. Children who dialed the number actually reached NORAD's Colonel Shoup who had his operators "find the location of Santa Claus" on their radars and report the information to every child who called in that night. NORAD has since turned the event into an annual program that is recognized worldwide, thanks to the efforts of partner organizations, volunteer Santa trackers, and technological improvements.

The program has grown since it was first presented on the Internet in 1998. "In 2007, the Web site received a whopping 10,660,838 unique visitors from 212 countries and territories," says Major Stacia Reddish, NORAD Tracks Santa Project. "On Christmas Eve alone, 1,012 Santa Trackers answered 94,743 telephone calls, and answered 10,326 emails."The Web site features the history of the program, information on how NORAD tracks Santa and interactive games. On December 24, beginning at 4:00 a.m.Mountain Standard Time the multilingual Web site will feature a minute-by-minute update on Santa's travels around the world.