Well, this part of the forum looks a bit sparse so i thought I'd post a few of the useful tools I've found on the net for mapping. Feel free to add to the list.
First up is AutoRealm. The site to download AutoRealm isn't pretty but, the tool us useful nonetheless. AutoRealm is a free-ware mapping utility who's most useful function is creating fairly decent continental outlines. It is also a decent overall editor for doing landscape features and such but, the interface is a bit daunting at first look. In fact, I'd rather use Photoshop or Gimp for actual painting of landscapes and such but, AutoRealm is great for that first step in world building... creating the land. I've included a screen shot of a quick continental outline I created in about 60 seconds. ((5 of those seconds include starting up the program and another 10 to recall which button did fractal drawing))
Note that I haven't used the program in a long time and just redownloaded it today after seeing a few folk in posts around here asking about how to create fractal outlines.
The program includes a few free symbols for marking cities and villages as well as mountains and other such terrain features one might need. Trees, rivers, and roads can all be added with ease.
I'd highly recommend this program for anyone with a low budget but a great desire to create stunning maps. Combined with Gimp, you could do wonderful things.
bonus link: Fractal Worldmap Generator I found this neat little tool while searching for AutoRealm again. It allows for random generation of continents by simply tweaking some values.
You can tell it how much percentage of water vs. land to include
How much percentage of Ice in each hemisphere
The generated image appears after a page refresh, it confused me at first but, just scroll down after you click submit and your map will appear at bottom of page.
That's it for this episode of 'The Meager Mapper'
I'll post some more stuff I've come across sooner or later, hopefully some other folks know some free tools out there you could add to the list.