Norad Santa tracker tradition stays alive with the help of Google

We love a bit of tradition here at Pocket-lint - Holly, Ivy, snow, presents... the list goes on. Another tradition, in this case an online one, is the NORAD Santa tracker, which has been locating the whereabouts of the fat man on Christmas Eve since 1955.

Initially started due to a mix up with telephone numbers that directed children, wanting to speak with Father Christmas to the director of operations at CONAD (later to be called NORAD after merging with Canada), the tradition remains today, with the Web offering a more interactive experience.

As the Google Blog puts it: "There’s one timeless question that we’re proud to say we can help answer: Where in the world is Santa at this very moment? Thanks in part to recent advances in warp-speed GPS technology and some very clever elves (elveneering?) NORAD Tracks Santa is once again prepped and ready to go".

From December 24 at 2:00am EST, visit www.noradsanta.org to follow Santa as he journeys around the world delivering presents to children in more than 200 countries and territories.

Children eager to get a glimpse of Santa's path through the night sky will get a real buzz out of the service, which will ensure at least another half an hour of bedtime tomfoolery before they finally get their heads down.

NORAD (which usually occupies its time with the tracking of other, less-Christmassy flying objects) offers online tracking via Google Maps, whilst the Google Earth plug-in enables you to see Santa steering his sleigh right on the webpage.