A cosmid contig physical map of human chromosome 16 has been developed by repetitive sequence finger-printing of approximately 4000 cosmid clones obtained from a chromosome 16-specific cosmid library. The arrangement of clones in contigs is determined by (1) estimating cosmid length and determining the likelihoods for all possible pairwise clone overlaps, using the fingerprint data, and (2) using an optimization technique to fit contig maps to these estimates. Two important questions concerning this contig map are how much of chromosome 16 is covered and how accurate are the assembled contigs. Both questions can be addressed by hybridization of single-copy sequence probes to gridded arrays of the cosmids. All of the fingerprinted clones have been arrayed on nylon membranes so that any region of interest can be identified by hybridization. The hybridization experiments indicate that approximately 84% of the euchromatic arms of chromosome 16 are covered by contigs and singleton cosmids. Both grid hybridization (26 contigs) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis experiments (11 contigs) confirmed the assembled contigs, indicating that false positive overlaps occur infrequently in the present map. Furthermore, regional localization of 93 contigs and singleton cosmids to a somatic cell hybrid mapping panel indicates that there is no bias in the coverage of the euchromatic arms.