Tracking Santa with Google Earth & NORAD

Members of the U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) have been tracking Santa’s journey around the world every Christmas Eve since 1955. It all started when an incorrect phone number for Santa routed the calls to Colorado’s Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. Instead of hanging up when the calls for Santa came pouring in, the duty officer offered to provide Santa updates.

The NORAD Santa Tracker is now hosted on the web at The site provides games, movies, music, and reading material to keep you occupied while you’re waiting for Santa! There is also a companion YouTube channel and a Twitter account that will provide timely updates as Santa makes his way around the globe. If you own an iOS device, you can track Santa using the official NORAD app. It’s an iPhone app, but it works on an iPad.

NORAD used to partner with Google, allowing Santa to be tracked using Google Earth. For the past two years, NORAD has been partnering with Microsoft instead of Google. So Google decided to launch its own Santa tracking website that’s filled with Santa updates and mini-games. Check Google’s official Santa Tracker site at You can even get 3D satellite imagery if you install the Google Earth plugin! And to follow Santa while you’re on the go, there is a Google Santa Tracker app available for Android, which gives you easy mobile access to track his journey.

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