Merry Christmas eve, everybody. It's time to indulge in the 50-year-old old tradition of following Santa's movements'via NORAD's strategic aerospace command center.
NORAD has been doing this every year since 1955, when a Sears rep goofed and printed a holiday promo with a typo. Kids dialed the number, and hello!?They got the hotline for the Director of Operations Colonel Harry Shoup. He got such a kick out of fielding the calls that he told his men to give out Santa's coordinates to every little kid who called.
The tradition got a boost from the Web around 1997, and Google in particular started its own Santa-tracking operation four years ago, so people could really visualize the jolly fat man's whereabouts. Since they've joined forces (so to speak), Google and NORAD have given hopeful little children and sentimental grown-up saps alike an easy way to track those long-awaited Nintendo Wiis and Nokia N97's, via Google Earth.
There are plenty of options to delight the kids via the Web, but this is PhoneDog, so we're going to focus on two cell-friendly ways of tracking good old St. Nick from the North Pole straight to your house in real-time.
(1) Install Google Maps for Mobile on your cell, then search for "norad santa" for instant updates on Santa's location.
(2) On Twitter: Add @noradsanta to your Twitter contacts, to get updated Tweets from "Bitz the Elf."
Is it strange to track Santa like an enemy missile or a criminal? Well, a little, but the kids sure get a kick out of it.
When PCWorld covered this, it ran a vid of highlights from Santa's 2007 journey. Check it out below for kicks, courtesy of NORAD and YouTube. Enjoy!