Track Santa Live: Microsoft Power Apps Holiday Guide
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Power Apps
Dec 19, 2023 10:00 AM

Track Santa Live: Microsoft Power Apps Holiday Guide

by HubSite 365 about David Wyatt

Senior Staff Engineer - Intelligent Automation Developer

External Blog Post
Citizen Developer

Power AppsLearning Selection

Track Santa with Power Apps: A Fun, Festive Guide to Dynamic Mapping & Timezone Hacks

Key insights

An enthusiastic developer conceptualized a unique way to dynamically position images using Power Apps, akin to marking spaces on a virtual car park map. Intrigued by the challenge of mapping coordinates efficiently, the developer embarked on a festive project with their children's favorite Christmas website as inspiration.

The developer chose Power Apps to emulate the tracking capabilities of the NORAD Tracks Santa website, ensuring the app could identify Santa's locations favored by their children. Two different methods to display Santa's movement were contemplated, and due to time constraints, the developer opted for displaying a fullscreen map and moving Santa's icon.

The Santa Tracker in Power Apps involved mapping locations on SharePoint, using a timer to move Santa between points, and launching the movement from midnight on the international dateline. The tracking would complete after a 24-hour cycle, simulating Santa's journey on Christmas Eve.

  • Conceiving a method to dynamically position images based on a map concept.
  • Creating a Power Apps version of the NORAD Santa Tracker tailored to specific locations.
  • Designing the app to initiate Santa’s journey at midnight and navigate through designated points over a day.
  • Discovering techniques for plotting coordinates and grappling with timezone complexities.
  • Omitting the need for custom components by employing Power Apps studio features for draggable icons.

Exploring Power Apps

Power Apps provides a versatile platform for developers to create custom business apps with minimal coding. It particularly excels in scenarios that require data manipulation, like tracking assets or automating tasks. Utilizing features such as drag-and-drop and seamless integration with SharePoint, Power Apps makes it easier for users to build applications tailored to their specific needs.

This case study is a prime example of the creativity and customization Power Apps offers. By using SharePoint lists to track locations and employing a timer for motion, the developer was able to simulate the journey of a virtual Santa Claus. This project showcases Power Apps' capability to handle complex functions, including time zones and coordinate plotting, in an engaging and user-friendly manner.

For those unfamiliar with Power Apps, it's part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which also includes Power BI for analytics and Power Automate for process automation. Together, these tools empower users to analyze data, automate workflows, and create custom apps without deep programming expertise. The Santa Tracker project not only highlights Power Apps' functionality but also the platform's potential for creative problem-solving in various contexts, from business utilities to festive entertainment apps.

Read the full article Power Apps Tracks Santa

Power Apps - Track Santa Live: Microsoft Power Apps Holiday Guide

Keywords

Power Apps Santa Tracker, Santa Location Tracker App, Track Santa Claus, Microsoft Power Apps Holiday, Santa Tracking Technology, Live Santa Tracking Apps, Christmas Power Apps, Santa Route Tracker, PowerApps Santa Map, Real-Time Santa Tracker