So I'm still kind of playing with this prefatory to releasing a very long blog post on it.
Turns out the include worked fine once I set the System Includes in Preferences. It didn't do anything in this case, but it doesn't kill the renderer. One less thing to comment out.
The global_settings were fine. The
bit simply made everything dark. The first way to fix this is to set the rgb vector for ambient_light to <1,1,1>. The other way, which is a bit more flexible, is to move the position of the light to <0,0,0>. For a light_source, the position vector is the first vector in the block. You'll find if you render as-is, without altering the light type, you'll get a nice day/night map of your world. Cool, but if what you want is a simple map of the entire surface, it pays to comment out the parallel and point_at lines. Upping the color rgb vector will also make the map nice and bright. I prefer the ambient, because it's difficult to find the proper value for the color rgb vector and ambient tends to make the map look less... "muddy."
ambient_light rgb <0,0,0>
After doing this several times, I find I can readily get it done in less than 15 minutes. You know, if I'm not spending hours documenting each step and puzzling out what the next step should be.