Children track Santa with help of Citi Logik app
Updated: Jan 31
Update: 31st Jan 2022
Last month we brought you news of the Santa Tracker we put together for the Wetherby community. We’re delighted to learn that the Santa Sleigh tracking app we developed to support the Lions was a huge success with the local community. It enabled more children to see Santa as he moved through the streets and the Lions raised over £4,000 from this year’s Santa Tour which will be put towards funding a party for the elderly people in the town.
From the Lions President:
Firstly, thanks to you and Citi Logik so much for all the work you have put into staging Santa outings this year, particularly the tracker, it is most appreciated and I know that all Lion members will echo this. The feedback from both friends and strangers I have spoken to has been very positive about the contribution we have made to the community as a whole and in helping all the children to have a very exciting and enjoyable Christmas. Your time is valuable. I am extremely grateful that you have donated some of it to the Lions. I hope you found it as enjoyable an experience as I have. Looking forward to working with you throughout next year. Have a merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and happy new year.
This Christmas, children in the Yorkshire town of Wetherby will be able to track when Santa is in their street, thanks to an app created by Citi Logik.
As part of a Yuletide tradition, Santa is pulled by truck around the town each weekday December evening between 6pm and 8pm. He endeavours to drop in on every street, even cul-de-sacs.
Before the app
In previous years, children waited outside for up to two hours for a glimpse of Father Christmas dancing to music and flashing lights on his sleigh, leading some parents to comment about their kids getting cold in the bleak midwinter.
In previous years, children waited outside for up to two hours for a glimpse of Father Christmas
They also claimed that Santa had bypassed their street, leaving their children feeling bitterly disappointed, whereas the reality was that the Santa-spotters had simply not been looking in the right place at the right time.
Paul's mission with the Wetherby Lions
Citi Logik’s Head of Operations Paul Froes has long been involved with the Wetherby Lions, the charity behind Santa’s appearances in the town. He spoke to the company’s development team to see whether they could create a tracker that broadcast the sleigh’s progress, enabling residents to track the movements of Santa and his elves on the charity’s website.
Paul had previously used an existing free app for this purpose, but this racked up thousands of pounds in costs for the organisers as it relied on Google Maps, which last year increased the fee it charged the website each time it was accessed for this purpose. As a result, the app had to be abandoned halfway through one December, leaving children in the dark about when, where and if Santa would pay them a visit.
He spoke to the Citi Logik's development team to see whether they could create a tracker that broadcast the sleigh’s progress.
A better Santa tracker
Citi Logik’s development team rose to the challenge and developed a bespoke web-based front-end using a phone tracker app that uses GPS to send minute-by-minute location updates to the website without costing the charity a penny. Paul now hopes that it will be used in future years by other branches of the Lions, a global network of charities, along with the Rotary Club.
Citi Logik’s development team rose to the challenge and developed a bespoke web-based front-end using a mobile phone tracking app that uses GPS to send minute-by-minute location updates to the website without costing the charity a penny.
“Seeing the kids’ faces when they see Santa is magical,” Paul said. “It’s great to be able to use Citi Logik’s technology to benefit the community. We are used to generating insights into how people move on foot, in a vehicle or by train, but this is the first time we’ve tracked the movements of a sleigh.”
"We are used to generating insights into how people move on foot, in a vehicle or by train, but this is the first time we’ve tracked the movements of a sleigh.”
The trips run from December 1st to December 23rd, after which Santa has other urgent tasks to attend to.
All the money raised from his tours of Wetherby will go to fund a party for elderly people in the town, which will be held in January.