Santa Goes Mobile!

Patti RennerEach Christmas Eve since my boys were toddlers, we’ve gathered around the computer to see where in the world Santa’s sleigh may be, thanks to NORAD’s Santa Tracking tool. It’s exciting for the kids to see… and a perfect time-management tool for parents, providing real-time evidence that it’s way past bedtime for little ones. (“Look! He’s almost to Cleveland. You’ve got to get to bed now!”)

As my kids have grown, so has Santa-tracking technology – now in partnership with Google Earth and Google Maps.

This year, Santa is mobile. You can follow his Christmas Eve journey right from your mobile device. All you need to do is open up Google Maps for mobile and search “Santa” to connect to where he is. You also can visit on your mobile browser.

Tip: If you would like a link to Google Maps sent to your mobile phone now, just visit the NORAD Santa official website and scroll to the bottom of the homepage. Select your country, enter your mobile number, and a link will be sent to your phone. Click the link and away you go.

The NORAD site has come a long way over the years and is worth exploring. You can learn about Santa – and even watch a video of him reading “’Twas The Night Before Christmas” — plus get details on how they do the tracking.

And before you follow him on tonight, you can follow him on Twitter all year round via mobile. His Twitter handle is: @noradsanta. Get updates via SMS by texting follow noradsanta to 40404 in the United States. There’s also a Facebook page to like.

So how did a national defense agency begin this special mission? According to NORAD’s official site, this Santa-tracking tradition began in 1955, after a newspaper advertisement misprinted a phone number for children to call Santa – they reached the CONAD (Continental Air Defense Command) Commander-in-Chief’s operations hotline instead. Colonel Harry Shoup received the first “Santa” call, and he had his staff check radar data for any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed, there were signs of Santa. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a high-tech tradition was born.

Not only is Santa’s flight path now available online and via mobile, old St. Nick is even texting this year. To have Santa text message your mobile device, AT&T customers can text “SANTA” or “1224.” There are also paid services, such as : Folks who don’t have AT&T service can search for other text-from-Santa services. They’re out there.

Fun stuff, but it raises another concern… should Santa really be texting while driving?
Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday from all of us at Knotice!

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  1. […] Santa gets busier and busier. He’s gone from receiving and answering letters to managing his own Twitter feed, Facebook page, and sending SMS alerts about his Christmas Eve campaign. Juggling all the advancements in technology, keeping his naughty […]

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