I am as guilty of fudging reality as anyone when it comes to world building. In fact, I tend to overuse the "magic wand technique". I enjoy climatology and ecology, but geology and plate tectonics bore me. Which is why I found the following two websites so helpful when I began redesigning my world based on real earth-like conditions.
The first site, called d-maps, has gobs of free maps of the world based on simple designs. I assume you can purchase more in-depth maps, but the plain line-drawn coastal maps helped me flesh out my coastline and island placement. The Coast(B) maps, without states, cities, or hydrography can be copied and pasted if need be (I didn'y go that far...I'm just sayin'). The link is:
The second website is called Blue Planet, and it breaks climates and terrain based on latitude. Since my world ranged from the equator to the arctic latitude and climatology were important. I found this website invaluable. It is clear and concise. The link is:
I hope someone here finds these websites as useful as I did/do.