NORAD is now in its 59th year of tracking Santa Claus on his annual world-wide tour, but the technology by which it accomplishes this task continues to change with the times.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) received a slew of mistaken phone calls in 1955 when a Colorado Springs newspaper had a typo in an ad aimed at kids anxious to know if Santa was close to their house, and thus, the Santa tracker was born. Known as the Continental Aerospace Defense Command at the time, the agency played along with the tykes, and ever since it has helped make sure that everyone knew where old Kris Kringle was at all times on Dec. 25th.

With the advent of the Internet, the tracking went online, although a phone number is still provided for those who prefer to call (1-877-HI-NORAD). And with smartphones taking over the world, now there are even apps to help the hunt for the jolly one. You can download apps for AndroidiOS and Windows Phone and wanting to waste no time at all, and on your desktop there is an app for Windows 8.

Social media isn’t left out in the cold either. You can also follow NORAD’s Twitter account and its Facebook page for real time Santa tracker info.

For those of you who visit the site itself, you’re going to find a couple dozen simple Christmas-themed games, Christmas music recorded by the USA Air Force Academy Band, numerous videos about the project and more to keep you entertained until the little ones go to bed.We are rather disappointed there is no word on receiving updates via Western Union telegram or Pony Express, but we think NORAD has done an amazing job of covering just about every other conceivable form of modern day communication.

Check out the trailer for this year’s Santa tracker below, as well as a short history of how NORAD got involved with letting children known when to expect a visit from the big man.

Were you a good little boy or girl this year and expecting a visit?