NORAD Santa Tracker

December 24, 2013 by  

NORAD Santa Tracker, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) started tracking him when a 1955 advert encouraged children to phone Santa – but gave the wrong number.

Once he realised what had happened, Colonel Harry Shoup – who came to be known as the “Santa Colonel” – quickly told his staff to answer the calls with an update on Father Christmas’s current position.

Nowadays, volunteers staff call centres on Christmas Eve and field around 70,000 phone calls each year from 200 countries.

NORAD online Santa tracker

Then deputy commander of NORAD Lt. Gen. Marcel Duval said in 2010: “It’s really ingrained in the NORAD psyche and culture.

“It’s a goodwill gesture from all of us, on our time off, to all the kids on the planet.”

Through the years the tracker has become more advanced, and it now has its own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

This year sees a new website that not only counts down the days until Father Christmas will begin delivering presents but lets you visit the digital North Pole and play various games.

Every day, NORAD will release a new game on the site; currently you can play a memory game.

On Christmas day, the site will monitor Father Christmas and the reindeers’ whereabouts on a map and keep a running tally of the number of gifts delivered.

Bing has optimised the site for touchscreen devices and is using 3D technology with WebGL to provide a “more realistic-looking version of Santa’s Village and Santa’s trek across the world”.

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