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Santa Tracker ditches Googles Maps, moves to Bing

NORAD's Santa Tracker will be using Bing Maps from this year onwards.

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A Santa Claus ice skates atop Harrod's Department Store in London on July 28, 2011. (James McCauley/Getty Images)

After five years of teaming up with Google, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has stopped using the most popular search engine's maps service in favor of Bing. 

The move is the second biggest snub to Google Maps after Apple's decision to use its own version earlier this year.

NORAD, which normally spends its time monitoring the airspace over US and Canada for unexplained or criminal aerospace activity, has been tracking Santa's progress since 1955.

The tradition began after a department store accidentally listed the agency's phone number as a way to follow Santa. After a child contacted the agency, a worker decided to keep up the ruse. According to NORAD's website, more than 1,250 Canadians and Americans volunteer on Christmas eve each year.

For the last five years, it's been displaying its hunches about Santa's whereabouts on Google Maps.

The move came after Google launched its own version of the Santa Tracker.

At this very moment Santa can be seen flying over East Timor (says NORAD) or over Melbourne, Australia (says Google).

About 25 million people use NORAD's Santa-tracking website each year.  

So, who's winning the Santa Trackers this year?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121224/santa-tracker-ditches-googles-maps-moves-bing