Google will yet again be using its various tools, including Google Maps, Google Earth and YouTube to track Father Christmas on his journey across the planet this Christmas Eve.

The search giant loves Christmas, and tracking Santa with a little help from NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) has become as much a tradition as presents under the tree and hangovers on Boxing Day. Well, sort of.

"Every Christmas Eve, children all over the world ask themselves - and their parents - questions about Santa's magical journey, blogged "Original Google Engineering Elf" Brian McClendon.

"How does Santa visit so many children in one night? Will he eat the cookies I left out? How does he fit all those presents into his sleigh? These childhood mysteries are part of what makes the Santa tradition so special.

"There's one timeless question that we're proud to say we can help answer: Where in the world is Santa at this very moment?

"Thanks in part to recent advances in warp-speed GPS technology and some very clever elves (elveneering?) NORAD Tracks Santa is once again prepped and ready to go."

You can track Santa in various ways, using some of Google's sites, Facebook, Twitter and even on your mobile phone.

See Santa on a Google Map: On your home computer or laptop, visit www.noradsanta.organd choose your preferred language. You'll see a large Google Map on the page displaying Santa's current location and his next stop. Click the video icons to watch "Santa Cam" videos, and click the gift icons to learn more about each city.

Watch Santa fly with the Google Earth Plug-in: From www.noradsanta.org, click on the link Track Santa in Google Earth. You'll see Santa steering his sleigh right on the webpage. If you don't have the Google Earth plug-in, you can get ready by downloading it ahead of time.

Follow Santa on your phone: Track Santa from your mobile phone by opening Google Maps for mobile and searching for [santa]. Or, visit m.noradsanta.orgon your phone's browser.
Subscribe to his YouTube channel: Santa's home on YouTube is at http://www.youtube.com/noradtrackssanta. That's where you can find videos from his journey throughout the night.

Get real-time information about Santa's location: Use Google's Realtime Search to get updates from social networks, news and micro-blogs like Twitter at @noradsanta, and keep up with news about his journey on this Facebook page.