The United States might be a relatively new country, but it’s taken hundreds of years for countless puzzle pieces to complete the picture we know so well today.

EarthDirect has a video depicting just that (minus Alaska and Hawaii). Their animated map shows the territorial history of the U.S. from December 1628 to December 2000. From the very first colony to the dawn of statehoods and vast territories, to the complete picture of what the United States looks like today, you can see each and every boundary change. It’s basically like watching the birth of a nation, piece by piece. Now we just need someone to annotate it with the various historical events, land treaties, and ratifications for the ultimate guide to the land that is the United States of America.

[h/t Kottke]