Santa tracking system ready for a 2014 sleigh ride

You can find almost anything on the internet, and from the stroke of midnight on December 25, 2014, that includes the man in red, too.

For over 50 years, we’ve seen the NORAD military system help kids track Santa Claus when midnight ticks over, and what started as a mistake has spiralled into a system that lights up in the eyes of children everywhere.

The whole idea originally liked off when an advertisement ran in the 50s to let kids call Santa, but when kids called the number, they were directed through to the North American Aerospace Defence Command, a joint military organisation tracking airspace, coordinating defence, and generally looking out for what’s in the sky that probably shouldn’t be there.

When the calls started coming into NORAD, the officer at the time told his team to tell kids where Santa was, kicking off NORAD’s extra job on Christmas, which is to track Santa.

Back then and before the internet, most of the tracking of Santa was relayed to children through phone calls from kids around the world, but now that everyone has the internet, emails have been added to that load as well.

But emails and phone calls are still relatively old school, and you can track Santa using websites too, if you choose. Just like last year, this year NORAD is relying on Bing Maps to do the tracking, with numerous “Santacams” positioned around the world to track Santa and provide a feed of where he goes.

Meanwhile, if you have a Windows Phone or a Windows 8 computer, as well as an iPhone or Android device, you can track Santa using the official “NORAD Tracks Santa” app made for each, learning things about Santa’s sleigh and even finding out about how the American and Canadian airforces provide fighter jets to escort Santa has he travels cross North America.

Essentially, provided you have a web browser from the past year or two, or a recent phone or computer, you should be able to take advantage of the NORAD Santa tracking system, watching where the bloke in red goes when he pops up on the grid this one time per year.

The tracking system will go live from 6PM AEST (Sydney time) on December 24 at the NORAD Tracks Santa website and through the apps, but don’t expect him to reach Australia until at least midnight.