Sasha Kamenetska | Contributor
December 24, 2012

Even Santa Loves APIs


Although Santa doesn’t have his own API (I’m sure he is very saddened by this), he does have a few mashups that focus on him that were made with the help of some awesome APIs.  These range from Santa trackers (there is even some drama surrounding this category) to Christmas light display locators, and they are all very festive and sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

For many years now, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been creating a Santa Tracker.  The tracker allows you to follow Santa from the North Pole through all of his deliveries.  Since 2007, NORAD has been partnering with Google Maps and Google Earth to make sure everyone could see Santa’s route.  This year however, NORAD seems to have gone with Microsoft’s Bing Maps (scandal!).  Google has now launched its own Santa tracker that comes complete with holiday games to challenge NORAD’s dominance in the Santa tracking field – expanding Google’s reach all the way to the North Pole.

Programmableweb also lists a few other Christmas-themed mashups.  There is a Cut Your Own Christmas Tree mashup from Ottawa that uses Google Maps to locate all the farms where you could cut down your own Christmas tree.  Another fun one is Tacky Christmas Lights, which uses Yahoo Maps and Bing Maps to locate the largest (and tackiest) Christmas lights displays.  And then there is the mashup that uses Google Maps to provide a list of all the towns and cities in the US that have holiday themed names.

My favorite Christmas-themed mashup, however, is  Not only does it provide you with a fun way to wish your loved ones a Merry Christmas (the mashup allows you to enter someone’s number and then uses the Tropo phone API to wish your friend/family member a Merry Chrismas), it also gives shopping ideas (if you include your email address, will ask your friend/family member for their Christmas wish, which it will then transcribe and email to you).  That’s a pretty jolly idea. 

There are a few other Christmas mashups out there.  And if you get started now, yours could be included in programmableweb’s list next year.  Make sure you use some awesome APIs along the way.  Or maybe, create the first Santa-specific API yourself – if you did, I’m sure you’d be on his Good list next year!

Happy Holidays!