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Cesium is a proud provider of NORAD Tracks Santa 3D Technology since 2012.

What is Cesium?

Cesium is a platform for building applications and metaverse experiences with 3D geospatial data. Thousands of software developers across industries like Aerospace, AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction), Energy, Commercial Real Estate, and Defense use Cesium to build apps like NORAD Tracks Santa.

At the heart of the Cesium platform is 3D Tiles, an open standard we created that makes massive amounts of 3D data streamable. The platform consists of free, open source offerings anyone can use, like CesiumJS, Cesium for O3DE, Cesium for Unity, and Cesium for Unreal.

Our commercial users use Cesium ion to convert their 3D geospatial data to streamable 3D Tiles, combine it with other types of data, and visualize it on the virtual globe.

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NORAD Tracks Santa

Provider of NORAD Tracks Santa 3D Technology since 2012

Santa approaching on NORAD Tracks Santa ®

How do we track Santa?

Tracking Santa’s location begins with data collected from NORAD, an organization that defends North America by tracking objects flying in and around its airspace. That data is updated on CesiumJS, a highly precise virtual globe consisting of 3D terrain and satellite imagery that accurately reflects the light from the sun and the position of the stars. Combining the virtual Earth, NORAD data, and a 3D model of Santa’s sleigh with special effects like digital snow enables millions of people to visualize Santa’s location in real time.

Read on to discover the technology behind NORAD Tracks Santa.


Discover Cesium

Cesium plane in CesiumJS

Build Your First Cesium App!

Follow the tutorial to build a flight tracker
with data collected by FlightRadar24.