Olivo- and spinocerebellar maps in the adult cerebellum of small rodents are discontinuous, with sharp boundaries. Cortical Purkinje cells constitute a heterogeneous population, organized into parasagittal, mutually exclusive compartments. The boundaries of the intrinsic cortical compartments and those of the projectional maps are congruent. During development; (i) The incoming olivary fibres, once they penetrate in the cerebellar parenchyma, are attracted toward their ultimate terminal fields, without passing through a stage of random dispersion. (ii) Migrating Purkinje cells and inferior olivary neurons begin, asynchronously, to express cellular markers in an independent manner, giving rise to a transient compartmentation of the cerebellar cortex and the inferior olivary complex respectively. In both instances, the biochemical heterogeneity disappears during the first postnatal week, simultaneously with the acquisition of adult-like cerebellar maps. (iii) The formation of the maps is an early event, prior to the establishment of the synaptology of the cerebellar cortical circuitry. Moreover, the organization of the spinocerebellar projection in adult mutant mice does not depend on the presence of granule cells (staggerer) but on the presence of normal Purkinje cells (weaver), indicating that synaptogenesis with their target neurons is not involved in the process of map formation. The matching of region specific chemical labels between incoming afferent fibres and heterogeneous sets of Purkinje cells is the most appealing mechanism for the formation of cerebellar maps.