It is far more reasonable to suppose that Santa has utilized a combination of locational analysis, centrography, transportation topographies and central place theory to select an optimal site for his headquarters. However, since access to his list of priorities (including secrecy) and model specifications is closely guarded, replicating Santa's thinking process is simply not possible.
Instead the Anglo-American research team of FloatingSheep.org decided to leverage the power of Web 2.0 technologies (user produced services and content) to triangulate Santa's location. After all the collective knowledge of the Internet is clearly more than any one of us alone. Right? Right?
Using the patented FloatingSheep.org approach we searched for references to "santa" and "reindeer" in user generated placemarks indexed by Google Maps. After all, Santa and Reindeer go together almost as well as that classic cinema couple, Turner and Hooch. Unfortunately for lovers of folk tales, the polar projections below illustrate that there is a decided dearth of references to Santa at the North Pole.
Polar Projection of SantaInstead we see that the entire Nordic region of Europe is covered in a virtual "duvet of Santa"! North America needs to be content with a much lighter "blanketing of St. Nick". If one assumes that Santa needs to be located as close to the pole as possible, then a few other extreme northern locations also emerge, such as the "coverlet-ing of Father Christmas" on Svalbard and the "quilt-ing of Pere Noel" on the Severnaya Zemlya archipeligo.
Polar Projection of ReindeerReindeer are much less prevalent than Santa (which is hard to understand given the 8:1 ratio) but the Nordic region, Svalbard and Alaska are all looking like strong contenders.
However, it is only when we amalgamate Santa and Reindeer together in some kind of googlistic geo-genetic goo that we are able to zero in on the exact locations of Santa's global enterprise. (And they called us MAD! We'll show them!) We will of course not reveal the exact locations (we're hoping for more than coal in our stockings) but will highlight the general areas.
In retrospect it seems so obvious, but the most Christmassy points in the world are Los Angeles (measured in raw Christmasness) and near the town of Kittilä, Finland (measured in Christmasness per capita). Clearly in the 21st century, Santa has recognized the value of geographical diversification in order to leverage the competitive advantages of each location. Los Angeles offers access to the creative talent of show business and the technological innovation of a world class manufacturing milieu. Kittilä offers...Trees? Moss? Rare Lichen? Hmmm...as we are less familiar with Northern Finland as befits some one in today's networked society, the locational advantages of Kittilä must wait until another posting. Any Kittilä-ites (-onians? –ese? –ians?) are welcome to address this issue as well.
We were at first stymied by the strong showing of Angola for reindeer but upon reflection we theorize that this is a likely location of Santa's post-December vacation. According to this theory, Santa flies his reindeer team for several well deserved weeks of R&R incognito. Since reindeer, however, are not indigenous to tropical climates, their presence does not go unnoted. Likewise, trips to the Falkland Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Florida seem highly probably as well. It should be noted that this is simply a theory and unlike the rigorous analysis on the location of Santa's workshop, further research on this topic is needed.
Likewise we plan on taking a closer look at the sub-national networks of Santa's enterprise. The U.S. maps below confirm Southern California's Santaness but shows some highly suspicious clusters of reindeerness in Texas and Missouri. Do these represent regional distribution centers? R&D centers? Back office customer support? Only further research will tell.
So. Age old question answered through the judicious use of technology.
We just hope we don't end up on the naughty list for this.