The mapping strategy for the bovine genome described in this paper uses large insert clones as a tool for physical mapping and as a source of highly polymorphic microsatellites for genetic typing, and was one objective of the BovMap Project funded by the European Union (UE). Eight-three cosmid and phage clones were characterized and used to physically anchor the linkage groups defining all the bovine autosomes and the X Chromosome (Chr). By combining physical and genetic mapping, clones described in this paper have led to the identification of the linkage groups corresponding to Chr 9, 12, 16, and 25. In addition, anchored loci from this study were used to orient the linkage groups corresponding to Chr 3, 7, 8, 9, 13, 16, 18, 19, and 28 as identified in previously published maps. Comparison of the estimated size of the physical and linkage maps suggests that the genetic length of the bovine genome may be around 4000 cM.