Travelling across the world delivering gifts to all those on the nice list, Santa's annual trip is certainly an iconic journey.

Luckily, for anyone impatient to know the big guy's ETA, a US military organisation called NORAD have the technology to keep you in the loop.

The history of the NORAD tracker

Legend has it that the NORAD tracker began with a Mr Shoup who received a call from a child in 1955.

Colonel Shoup was a crew commander working at CONAD (the former version of NORAD) who were tasked with protecting and monitoring American Air Space.

It was said that Santa’s phone number was misprinted in a Christmas edition of a department store catalogue, meaning that the call accidentally came through to Shoup. A number of calls began to come in asking for Santa’s current whereabouts, and of course CONAD began to track Santa’s sleigh to keep the public informed.


From then on CONAD annually used their expertise to keep the children of America updated on the big guy in red and his location.

When CONAD eventually became NORAD, the reporting became more and more in depth, with dedicated hotline updates released on Christmas eve.

NORAD tracker 2018

As times move forward, volunteers for NORAD have streamlined the tracking of Santa considerably.

With modern day technology, it’s possible to track Santa using only your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. It’s 2018, of course Santa has GPS.
NORAD has developed an app where you can watch the progression of Santa’s annual commute in real time – so you can keep the little ones informed on good merit.


NORAD uses all high-tech satellites to keep you in the loop with St. Nick’s arrival. Through the app available for iOS and Android or on your browser, you can see where he’s at on the map, listen to Santa’s favourite songs, play some Christmas games and learn about NORAD – all at the push of a button.

And best of all – just like Santa’s sleigh, NORAD runs on Christmas cheer. This wonderful service is free, so there really isn’t a reason not to keep an eye on St Nicholas’ journey.

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