How to track Santa: NORAD ready on phones, online and on mobile

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) - Volunteers monitoring maps showing Santa Claus' progress from a Colorado Air Force base are only about three hours into their goodwill mission but have already answered more than 7,000 phone calls from people asking about the jolly old elf.

Phones are ringing nonstop at Peterson Air Force Base, headquarters of the North American Aerospace Command's annual Santa-tracking operation.

Scores of helpers at NORAD are taking calls and tracking Santa's location on large projection screens.

In another room, the volunteers post updates for more than 1 million Facebook fans and 107,000 Twitter followers.

The number is 877-HI-NORAD or 877-446-6723 .

Updates will be posted online ( http://www.noradsanta.org ), on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/noradsanta ) and Twitter ( https://twitter.com/NoradSanta ).

The maps show Santa is in Australia and heading west. The volunteers will keep updating through 3 a.m. Mountain Time on Christmas morning.

The operation is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., home of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

As technology has evolved, so has the way kids keep tabs on Mr. Claus.  

Now there's NORAD Santa Tracker apps for iPhone, Android and Windows phone users, and sleigh watchers can also keep up on Bing maps.

NORAD had been tracking Santa with Google Earth since 2004, but this year the two entities went separate ways.

NORAD has teamed with Microsoft, and Google has set up a tool of their own.
 
Google's Santa Tracker has been highlighting North Pole preps in the lead-up to Christmas.

And in his spare time, Santa's been making phone calls to good girls and boys, and sending messages via his Google+ page.

NORAD Tracks Santa began in 1955 when a newspaper ad listed the wrong phone number for kids to call Santa. They wound up calling the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD's predecessor.

CNN Contributed to this Report

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