Google provides direct access to Santa's Dashboard

It’s a good thing Santa Claus doesn’t rely on Apple Maps to plan his route, or there would be a very unhappy bunch of children this Christmas. As it turns out, the bearded beneficent one uses Google Maps to make sure all of the presents he’s bringing to good little boys and girls get to the correct destination on time. He's not daft you know.

If you’re not already tracking the progress of the big fat man with the long white beard using the Google Santa Tracker for Android or NORAD’s website, mobile or Windows 8 apps, there’s a new Santa’s Dashboard site from Google which will provide up to the minute details of where he is at the moment. This shows Santa’s previous location, his next location, when he’s likely to arrive there, the number of presents delivered, the distance travelled, and his status. There’s also a compass, and a list of names of deserving children.

You can switch from the dashboard to the map view, which will show you Santa’s current position. You’ll still be able to see all the relevant details (his location, distance travelled and so on) in a bar at the side.

Destinations can be clicked, so you can see the time of arrival, weather, number of presents to be delivered, and view photos and Wikipedia information about the place. There are also games you can play, such as Present Drop and Jetpack.

According to Google, "Santa’s dashboard -- featuring the latest and greatest in Google Maps technology and sleigh engineering -- will allow you to follow his progress around the world, and also learn a little about some of his stops along the way".

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