Many ways to track Santa on his rounds this year
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Many ways to track Santa on his rounds this year

CF-18For more than 50 years, the North American Aerospace Defence Command  (NORAD) and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, decided to play along and had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.


This year NORAD — has decided to switch from Google Maps, which it has used since 2007, to Microsoft’s Bing maps for its annual NORAD Tracks Santa project. So, there are a number of ways to track Santa with NORAD:

To track Santa on Cesium and Bing Maps, return to the Official NORAD Santa Tracker Page on December 24th.

To track Santa on your Mobile Phone!Download the official NORAD Tracks Santa mobile apps today!

Windows Phone Android iOS
To track Santa on your Windows 8 PC, Download the official NORAD Tracks Santa Windows 8 app!

Windows 8

tableOr you can phone or email the the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center (NTSOC) which opens on December 24th at 5:00 a.m. EST (4:00a.m. CST, 3:00a.m. MST, and 2:00a.m. PST) and remains open until 5:00am EST (4:00a.m. CST, 3:00a.m. MST, and 2:00a.m. PST) on December 25th.Located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the NTSOC receives up-to-the-minute status reports from NORAD radar, satellites, and Santa cams. Official Santa trackers are standing by to update you on Santa’s current location!

1 (877) HI NORAD / 1 (877) 446-6723
From Colorado Springs or overseas: 1 (719) 556-5211 (Long Distance charges may apply)
Hearing Impaired should contact their service provider.

[email protected]

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 3.38.49 PMBut Google’s not letting itself be cut out of the business of tracking Santa. Using its Google Earth and Google Maps products, the Internet search giant is tracking Santa on its own this year with a new algorithm. Yes, that means you’ve got two Santa tracker options to pick from starting Christmas Eve. “While we’ve been tracking Santa since 2004 with Google Earth, this year a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers built a new route algorithm to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve,” VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, Brian McClendon, wrote on the Official Google blog this week.

dashboardGoogle claims special access to Santa’s dashboard — the technology that powers his sleigh during his around-the-world journey. The search giant received this special preview from one of Santa’s many developer elves, who are hard at work in the North Pole helping Santa prepare for his big day. Santa’s dashboard – featuring the latest and greatest in Google Maps technology and sleigh engineering – will allow you to follow his progress around the world, and also learn a little about some of his stops along the way.

Google’s tracker will be available on the Official Site…and you can add the new Chrome extension or download the Android app to keep up with Santa from your smartphone or tablet. And to get the latest updates on his trip, follow Google Maps on Google+Facebookand Twitter.

While you are waiting for Christmas there are a bunch of cool games to play at Santa’s village and an adult can book a phone call from Santa to a special child.

The big question remaining is will Santa use Google or Bing maps to get around this year..I’m betting he will not be using Apple Maps 🙂


Bob Benedetti

<p>Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal</p>

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