NORAD

NORAD Santa tracker with Google

The Northern American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is partnering with Google to track Santa, so all the world's good boys and girls can follow along online.

Santa Claus is already airborne after beginning his annual journey at 2 a.m. ET on Thursday, and Google and NORAD have developed different ways to follow his journey as his delivers gifts to children all over the world.

Visit the site at noradsanta.org.

A good way to view it is using Google Earth Web browser plug-in available for Windows and Mac OS X users.

The tradition of tracking Santa started in 1955 after a Colorado Springs department store printed the wrong phone number in an ad telling kids how to reach Santa.

The phone number was of a Colorado-based Continental Air Defense Command operations hotline.

When the director of operations at the time, Col. Harry Shoup, answered the phone call, he played along and gave an update of where Santa was currently “located at.”

The tradition, using volunteers, continued when the U.S. and Canada formed the joint North America Aerospace Defense Command in 1958.