I am taking advantage of the holiday season to take some much needed time off and have not been blogging, as you have no doubt noticed. I have just a quick follow-up to the last blog entry about Santa in Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D.

Santa's Village in Virtual Earth 3D, published on the MSNBC Today Holiday Guide last week, has today been replaced by a Santa Tracker in Virtual Earth 3D. My colleague Chris Pendleton, creator of the application, tells all in his blog and even offers to share his code later this week!* Chris is apparently moved by the seasonal spirit of giving!

What I will quickly tell you is that the Santa Tracker has a built in timer, so that any time before Dec. 25 @ 5AM in Samoa (last time zone) it will locate Santa in a different location. It changes every 7.05 minutes so if you want to see it working, check back periodically and you will see Santa in action.* Here is a snapshot of Santa en route as I write:

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Where the Santa Tracker is most impressive is when Santa can be found over one of the close to 300 3D city models in Virtual Earth. Here is a screenshot from Chris' blog where he captured Santa in one of those locations:

Cruising my home town of San Diego

Remember that you can control the 3D environment using the map controls on the page or your mouse and keyboard (I provided instructions in my last blog entry and on the Santa Tracker page). OR ... if you really want to have fun, hook up the kid's Xbox controller and fly around like Ol' St. Nick himself!

Have a great time with the kids! And enjoy the holidays.

-=Virtual Jerry

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