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NORAD tracks Santa and answers questions

Norad Santa tracker
Maybe you've been using the NORAD Santa tracker every year for as long as you can remember, like me, or maybe you haven't heard of it before. It is a great way to have some fun on Christmas Eve and answer some of those questions about when Santa will be at your house.

The whole thing started in 1955 when Sears misprinted a phone number to call Santa and kids everywhere got connected to the Continental Defense Command hotline. Instead of being angry, CONAD workers gave kids updates of Santa's progress around the world and a tradition was born.

In the 50 years since then, a lot has changed. CONAD became the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD for starters. Since 1998 kids no longer needed to call Santa, they could simply get hourly updates on the internet. And this year, you can even hear about Santa's progress on Twitter!

Because NORAD has teamed up with Google you can see Santa flying over highly detailed Google maps. It is easy to pick out landmarks if Santa flies over an area you are familiar with. You can even see photos of places Santa has flown past with Panoramio photos linked to the map.

You can download a special KML that will let you track Santa in 3D this year and the site has lots off answers to questions kids might have. You can even check out the snack counter to see how many cookies Santa has had so far today!

Check out what we've written before about the Santa Tracker and find out how Google and NORAD teamed up to give us so many Santa tracking options. .

Tags: christmas, holiday, norad, santa, santa-tracker, time-waster, timewasters