NORAD kicks off countdown to track Santa, with help from Google


(CBS) - Google and the North American Aerospace Defense Command kick off their countdown to track Santa Claus today.

On Dec. 24 at 2 a.m. EST you can start tracking Old Saint Nick using Google Maps or Google Earth, for a 3D experience. The tracker will also be available via Google Maps on smartphones.

NORAD says tracking will also be available on apps at the Apple App Store, Android Market, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter.

NORAD has been tracking Santa for over 50 years and shares the story on their website.

"The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born."

Can't wait for my presents!