Belfast Telegraph

Santa tracker: Follow Father Christmas around the world

Microsoft, the US military and Google are all teaming up to track one of the most important journeys of the year

Santa trackers are being offered by the world’s biggest tech companies, and the US Department of Defense, to enable the tracking of Mr Claus as he flies around the world this year.

Microsoft and Norad, as well as Google, are offering Santa trackers that allow children to watch Father Christmas as he makes his journey this year, as well as taking part in other challenges.

Google’s site, which allows children to learn to code while they are waiting, has been overhauled this year. It includes special illustrations and games that allow children to take part in colouring in challenges or dress up elves.

The map also allows children to track different holiday traditions around the world.

Google’s tracker is available on its own website, and has an Android app. The site and app will keep getting updated through the month, as Christmas approaches.

The Norad tracker is this year marking the 60th year that the US Department of Defense organisation has been tracking Santa. The service began on the phone but has since moved to a slick website that is built with Microsoft.

Norad usually watches the skies over North America. But 60 years ago a mistaken wrong number put a child through to the organisation’s commander-in-chief, and the organisation began tracking Santa too.

The tracking will begin in the early morning of 24 December, at the Norad site, but it is already showing a countdown and other information. The Norad site will start streaming videos then as well as allowing people to watch Santa as he flies around the world.

In the US, people can call into a number to get more information about where Santa is, or email noradtrackssanta@outlook.com, in a process akin to the phone call that began the system 60 years ago.

The site is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.

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