The first website, and continues to be the world’s most popular, is NORAD’s Santa Tracker.

The first website, and continues to be the world’s most popular, is NORAD’s Santa Tracker.

Track Santa on his worldwide trip

Tracking Santa across the skies is getting easier and more mobile, but there are still just two reliable options online.

The world’s main go-to website is www.NORADSanta.org, while Google’s Santa Tracker (santatracker.google.com) is growing on some people.

Both sites offer up a variety of online activities — from educational pieces and games to a countdown to when Santa kicks off his journey as well as ways to connect with Santa’s representatives.

NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) is the leader in following Santa, having done so since the first-ever ‘sighting’ of the big sleigh heading out from the North Pole came in 1948 — done partly to mention the U.S. Air Force’s newest radar technology in the north to the American public.

Since then, the one-time event has become an intricate symphony using the latest in technology and communications.

The regular ‘report’ began in 1955 as a chance to gain some public notoriety for the renamed air defense command, following what is believed to be a child calling the wrong number to reach Santa. That gave someone an idea a few weeks later to note to the public they were tracking Santa, after a controller used a Santa picture to represent an unidentified aircraft.

For the following year, the air defense command was told that media were waiting for a Santa progress update, spawning an annual tradition that now spans the globe.

Beginning in 1958, the reports got more elaborate over the years as NORAD took over — ranging from Royal Canadian Air Force planes stating “an obviously friendly sleigh” was spotted in the sky to reports noting an S. Claus was assisted during an emergency sleigh landing.

Communication upgrades moved to a public phone number (still operational at 1-800-HI-NORAD) in 1981 for progress updates. However, the site answers questions through email (noradtracksanta@outlook.com), its contact page and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/noradsanta) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/NoradSanta).

NORAD also has its own YouTube and Instagram accounts with photos and videos, with mobile apps so people can receive updates and go interactive on the site.

Got Google?

The world’s largest search engine got into tracking in 2004, using its widely used map feature in order to follow Santa either on a desktop or through its mobile apps.

Google’s site includes a number of interesting online and interactive games, holiday music, the opportunity to create art, take part in some more educational activities as well as learn some computer skills.

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read