COLORADO SPRINGS, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Anyone who wants to take part in the time-honored custom of track Santa's progress on Christmas Eve choose from multiple Santa-tracking services this year.
Longtime Santa-tracking partners North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, and Google parted ways and each is offering a tracking service, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
NORAD, based in Colorado Springs, has paired up with Bing Maps for a 2-D Santa-tracking display, as well as Cesium to show a 3-D version of Santa's progress. The system will be available online, as well as in application form for Windows, iOS and Android phones.
NORAD's Santa hotline, (877) HI-NORAD, will be functioning as of 2 a.m. Christmas Eve for those with questions about where the jolly elf is.
Google is offering its Santa-tracking application available at google.com/santatracker.
Santa-tracking began in 1955 when U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup -- who was director of operations for the agency that became NORAD -- began receiving calls from children trying to reach Santa. A local Sears store had set up a Santa hotline but misprinted the number in its catalog, sending calls about Santa to Shoup.
The agency has been tracking Santa for the public ever since.