Google Teams With NORAD To Track Santa

    December 1, 2008

Google is again teaming with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to track Santa Clause starting today December 1 through Christmas Eve.

Visitors to the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site will be able to access entertaining holiday games and activities that will change daily.

On December 24, Christmas Eve, NORAD will begin tracking Santa’s trip with live video feeds that begin at the following times:

3 a.m. Pacific Standard Time
4 a.m. Mountain Standard Time
5 a.m. Central Standard Time
6 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time

Google software will broadcast live images from NORAD’s high-speed digital "Santa Cams," and Google Maps and Google Earth will follow Santa as he travels around the globe.

All of the information from the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and new this year Chinese.

The tradition of tracking Santa began as an accident in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. ad for children to call Santa misprinted the phone number. 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, had his staff check radar for Santa making his way south from the North Pole.

This began the tradition of tracking Santa Claus, a tradition that has carried on by NORAD, when it was formed in 1958. This Christmas marks the 50th anniversary of NORAD tracking Santa Claus.

Last year the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site received 10.6 million unique visitors from 212 countries and territories.