NORAD Santa Tracker Live: Watch Santa’s Progress

By: Rachel Kolman - December 24, 2013

It’s time! The NORAD Santa Tracker has gone live, following Santa’s progress around the world as he delivers gifts this Christmas Eve. The NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracker began early this morning, with Santa’s first stop in Russia and a travel route that crosses Asia, Africa, Europe, and then the Americas.

This tracking Santa tradition began in 1955, when a typographical error caused children to dial NORAD’s number nstead of a Santa tracker. The NORAD team was instructed to give the children news about Santa’s whereabouts, and have been doing so ever since. Nowadays, the company uses a computer-generated simulator (but they’ll still answer phone calls, too). There’s also an interactive, learning aspect too: users can click photos on the map and learn more about the parts of the world that Santa has visited.

In addition to tracking his progress, the program also updates how many gifts Santa’s delivered along the way:

(There’s even an iOS app, too.)

NORAD was in the news earlier this week when it faced criticism that the program is injecting militarism into Christmas. Regardless, the website had 22 million unique visitors last year and has 1.4 million Facebook likes.

Image via News Distribution Network

About the Author

Rachel KolmanRachel is a contract writer for WebProNews. She also likes to write fiction, essays, and satire. She loves stand up comedy and the Legend of Zelda. She doesn't know if she needs either beer or coffee more to survive. You can watch her try to cope with adulthood on Twitter: @bestthingaround

View all posts by Rachel Kolman