Occupied for most of the year keeping an eye on American and Canadian airspace, the North American Aerospace Defense Command does a handy job watching out for Father Christmas too. Still amazingly elusive after all these years flying round the world on his sledge, tracking down the toy artist also known as Santa Claus is a full-on social media experience. Norad won't reveal how they manage to locate St Nick when so many kiddies around the globe can’t – but the service certainly proves popular as fans follow it on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

There are nearly 770,000 users subscribed to the Facebook page and almost 63,000 followers on Twitter. This year you can count down the days to Santa’s takeoff with the official NORAD Tracks Santa app. Enjoy playing “Elf Toss” throughout the month and then on December 24th, follow Santa with Google Maps for mobile by searching for [santa].

Google Maps will show Santa’s entire route as he travels the world on Christmas Eve. At the bottom of the Google Maps screen, you’ll see Santa’s current location, as well as where he’s headed next. Here are a few tips to help you follow Santa’s route:
  1. A trail of sparkles will highlight Santa’s recent stops:

  2. Watch videos from each of Santa’s stops by clicking on the video icon 

  3. Zoom into a location to explore more, either by scrolling with your mouse or by using the zoom slider in the upper lefthand corner of the screen. Change map types using the buttons in the top righthand section of the screen:

  4. Browse Panoramio photos for a location by clicking on the present icon . For more images, click See more photos at Panoramio.com inside the information balloon:

  5. To read Wikipedia articles about a particular location, click Read more about this location inside a video or photo information balloon:


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