Track Santa with NORAD and Google’s tracker in 2012

By Daniel Chubb - Jan 30, 2013

The NORAD Santa tracker has become well known around the world and children have been using the online service for years, but NORAD has officially been tracking Santa for over 50 years. The 2012 NORAD Santa tracker has replaced Google Maps with a competitor, Bing from Microsoft, so this left Google to do what it does best, and that’s to innovate.

Google’s new Santa Tracker has had its countdown live for a while, but at the time of writing there’s only just over 3 hours to go until Google tracks Santa. You can see the page that will track Santa here on Google. This new service brings with it an improved algorithm, so it will be interesting to see what service people use in 2012? We guess most will use the NORAD Santa tracker thanks to years of service, although Google will feature its option on their homepage to try and show a better way to track Santa.

Will you use the NORAD Santa tracker, or the option from Google? You can see NORAD’s official Santa tracker website here, which goes live in under 20 minutes at the time of writing. Once the countdown reaches zero you’ll be able to see Santa’s journey live with maps that track his location around the world.

It is worth pointing out that in 2012 you can also track Santa on your smartphone with the NORAD Santa tracker app for iPhone/iPad, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Links to these apps and where you can download are on the official website. Let us know, in the comments, if you run into any problems using either service this year.

Update: NORAD is now tracking Santa and their service went live moments ago.

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  • Kat

    Now the tradition has changed and I don’t know how to work the thing. Now I have to wait for my dad to get up….

  • Kat

    Why did they change it? I have stayed up all night to go on GOOGLE maps and track him not Bing! Now my sister will be upset! It has been the same since my dad introduced it to us and now its changed. Can someone tell me how to track him with bing so I can at least use that?

  • Tony

    Norad’s countdown to track santa just past 5 minutes, been staying up late for this and cannot wait to watch with my little boy. Makes me feel young again, and remembering the magic.

  • MIKE

    This is really about Google’s Maps vs. Bing Maps, and what service you prefer to track Santa with. While Bing is good, Google maps look that much better for me.

  • RickyT

    I love everything Google does and its a brand I trust. 2012 feels like a year to try something different, and I’m looking forward to seeing Google’s new santa tracking service.

  • Susan

    Under 10 minutes to go, I’m using NORAD just as we do every year. Why change santa tracker when it works?