Web users can track Father Christmas' progress tonight on the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad)'s dedicated website in 3D without having to download Google Earth.

NORAD has been working with Google since 2004 to allow web users to monitor Santa's progress as he delivers presents on Christmas Eve.

However, this year Google revealed that the dedicated NORAD website will feature a Google Earth plug-in, instead of using the Google Earth client.

"As a result, you'll be able to follow Santa in Google Earth's immersive, 3D environment directly within your web browser," said Brian McClendon, VP engineering and Bruno Bowden, senior software engineer in a blog.

"We thought hard about the different ways we could improve the Santa tracker and after a year of planning, we think this year's will be the best one yet."

Google said that, just like last year, web users will also be able to track Santa's progress from their mobile phone by visiting a dedicated mobile site, and an even see updates on his progress by following NORAD on Twitter.

Last year more than eight million people tracked Santa on Christmas Eve.

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See also: Santa Claus' website hacked