Tips, Tricks and Tools for mapping we have aplenty here at the Guild, the Mappiest Place on the Web
For Tips, post your work in the WIPs thereads (thats Work In Progress) and you will recieve all kinds of friendly c&c to get you from here to there...
For Tricks look through the Tutorials Forum, for all kinds of techniques on creating a map. I would also suggest looking through the Finished Maps forum for insperation and see if there is a link to the WIP or tutorial.
For Tools, look in the Map Resourses forum for all kinds of goodies
Have fun and good luck with your project