How will you be tracking Santa this year?

Some time ago so the story goes a printing error resulted in Children accidentally calling NORAD to speak to Santa.  This somewhat fortuitous error led to a great collaboration between NORAD and Father Christmas and enable the children of the world to find out where the magical sleigh was on it’s travels around the world.

Technology advanced and NORAD introduced the online NORAD Santa tracker and the world collectively watched as Santa travelled the globe on Christmas Eve.  This was another great partnership between NORAD and Google Maps, but alas that has come to and end.  NORAD are now using Bing Maps to show where they have tracked Santa to.  Google has launched it’s own Santa tracking service called Google Santa Tracker.

Who’s got the real info on where Santa is?

With two competing services now tracking Santa we have to know who’s got the real data, who’s Naughty and who’s Nice?

Round 1 – Christmas Eve.

It’s lunchtime in Australia on Christmas Eve so let’s see what the trackers can tell us about Santa’s pre-flight checks.

Christmas Eve starts at 00:00 on the International Date line which is for arguments sake GMT +12.  So that’s when Santa gets cleared for take-off.  It’s nearly 6pm in the Pacific so Santa should have about six hours to go.  Who’s right and who’s wrong?

NORAD Santa Tracker

Google Santa Tracker


Seems like we have a three hour time difference here… Looks like it could be round one to Google.

Let’s check back in three hours and see if NORAD claim a Sleigh sighting first…


Round 2 – Christmas Eve Evening

Google has Santa on the map and busy delivering gifts. Delivering just short of a million presents in Auckland.

Google tracks Santa in NZ
Google tracks Santa in NZ





NORAD say check back soon… Round two to Google?

Round 3 – Midnight in Australia where is Santa?

It’s 21:15 in Perth, so 00:15 on Christmas Day in Sydney. So has Santa been yet?

Initial reports are saying he hasn’t visited, but the naughty or nice status of my contact over East has also to be confirmed, and franly I’m not so sure….  Either way Google says Santa is in PNG and has yet to make landfall in Australia.  NORAD say santa has been all the way down the East coast of Australia already and is headed to Adelaide.  So who’s right?  Is NORAD on the money and Google is playing with old news? Let’s call round three a draw… too close to call.

Round 4 – Christmas Day

Of course everyone knows Santa doesn’t visit if you are awake so off to bed and lets see what transpires overnight.

It looks like we made it onto the Nice list – gifts galore under our tree.  The magic of Santa makes me realise the NORAD and Google have both set themselves an impossible task.  Tracking the magical was never going to be easy and no wonder they both have different results.  Maybe we’ll know more for Christmas 2013.