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NORAD confirms: Santa and his sleigh are on their way

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which as been tracking Santa's annual trip for the past 50 years, reports on its site that Saint Nick has already spread Christmas cheer to the North Pole (of course)—Sidney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Fuji, Japan; and the Great Wall of China. How does NORAD know this? Perhaps it's the dozens of "Santa cams" the agency has stationed around the globe.

As Scientific American.com reported last week, this is the first year that Twitter users will be able to follow "tweets" (twitter messages) concerning the jolly fellow's annual trek. These messages will come from "Bitz the Elf," according to Google's global and communications office. (Google is helping NORAD this year with a variety of Web-based software, including Google Maps and Google Earth.) As Santa makes his way around the world, Bitz will provide updates of his location  to anyone following the Twitter screen name "noradsanta."

Also new this year: users can open Google Maps for mobile on their cell phones and type "norad santa" in the search box to follow  the legendary gift giver via their phones. Google Earth lets users follow Santa in 3D on their computers (although they have to first download a special file in addition to Earth to track him this way).

Image: ©iStockphoto.com

 

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