Thank you for all the comments and compliments. I like the texture myself because it gives the image character and visual depth I think.
Anyway, here is something I have been working on. Learned lots of new stuff in Photoshop and started off with Illustrator on the way.
I have decided to take information off the original image, presenting that as a satellite image. I have made a political map to put all the information on, and I have added more cities and population data and economic data (yes those numbers are right) and there is a mini-map showing the location of the archipelago in the world. Suggestions and comments for both are very welcome.
I'll update the starting post of this thread with the newest images too. The satellite style image hasn't been updated much yet. Some tweaks are coming for that one, but I'm still pretty content with how it looks currently.
I'm also going to look into reworking the map into more different styles.
I am curious what you guys think of the political map. How should I improve it further?
Thanks for this great forum and for the nice people here.