Charity runners dressed as Father Christmas await the start of the 'Santa Run' charity fun run in Battersea Park in London. Hundreds of participants dressed in Santa suits and white beards ran through Battersea park in aid of winter sports charity Disabil

Santa began his journey a couple of hours ago. Here's how to track him as he flies around the world

Father Christmas began his journey round the world from Australasia this morning — and Microsoft and Google are both offering ways of tracking his journey to drop presents off with children across the globe.

The two main ways of tracking Father Christmas are the Google Santa Tracker and NORAD Tracks Santa, the latter of which is run with the help of Microsoft.

Google’s represents Santa’s route in a slightly more cartoon-y mode, and with the help of Google Maps. It shows statistics during Santa’s journey, including the number of gifts delivered (about 580 million at the time of writing) and the distance from you.

The Norad one has a more realistic depiction of Santa’s journey, and shows a little avatar of Santa and his reindeer as he flies across the world.

(Norad is the North American Aerospace Defense Command — when it’s not tracking Santa, it tracks the airspace above the US and Canada. It started tracking Santa as the result of a mishap.)

The two disagree on Santa’s route — at the time of writing, Norad said Santa was flying above the sea near Japan, while Google had him in Japan itself, and both had him going over different routes. But that’s presumably because both can only give approximations, given Santa is currently moving fast enough to distribute billions of presents in just one day.

Google is probably the nicer of the two — it shows Santa going from town-to-town, rather than in a straight line, and has a slightly more fetching look. But both offer a very, very detailed picture of how and where exactly the magic of Santa works.