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Dueling Santa trackers are off and running

December 24, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A screen grab from Google's Santa Tracker.
A screen grab from Google's Santa Tracker. (Google )

All year long Santa keeps an eye on you. Now it's time to turn the tables.

One day a year, you are invited to keep an eye on Santa as he whips around the world in his sleigh, delivering a dizzying number of presents to children all over the world.

If you'd like to see where Santa is at the moment, you've got choices. Google and NORAD, which used to team up for your Santa tracking pleasure, have gone their separate ways this year and created two distinct tracking options.

Google's Santa Tracker is the slicker of the two. It takes you to Santa's Dashboard, where you can see Santa's current location, his next location, the number of miles traveled, and the number of presents delivered. Santa is also adding Twitter like status updates. The most recent one as of this writing: "Rudolph's nose just turned red." 

PHOTOS: Google Doodles of 2012

You can also click on the map and see where Santa has been, as noted by little present icons on the map. Click on the icon and you'll see how many presents Santa has delivered in each city. When Santa is on the move, you'll see him flying on the map in a sleigh. When he's stopped to deliver presents, you'll see him shoving presents down a chimney.

Over at the official NORAD Tracks Santa website you'll also find a running tally of how many presents Santa has delivered as well as what city he just left and what city he's currently headed toward. NORAD also offers Santa Cams that show animations of Santa flying around the world. 

Both Santa tracking services offer loads of extras. If you visit Santa's Village on Google's tracker you can send a message from  Santa to a friend or family member. And NORAD has more than 1,200 volunteers staffing a Santa hotline to answer all your Santa questions.  (877-HI-NORAD).

In the spirit of the season you might try them both out, but hurry up. The trackers shut down a few hours before Christmas morning. 

Happy tracking!

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