Hi there Ver, and welcome to the Guild. As to your question regarding mapping an image to a globe in GIMP, you should be able to map your entire world to a globe. I wrote a tutorial on the matter a while back (you can find a link to it in the "Tutorials" section of my sig). Personally, I use GIMP along with Wilbur (which also can help to either generate realistic terrain, or manipulate a height map you've made in another program, such as GIMP). I have not worked with FT3 myself but I have heard good things about it. Waldronate, another member here, could probably advise you on the relative differences and benefits of FT3 and Wilbur, so I'll leave that to him.