From: Canberra, Australia
You guys are basically on the right track.
A couple of useful tips:
1. Break up your map scans into several pieces (4 or 16). This helps the MapMaker process them and speeds up display.
2. Use a mix of control and corner points. Remember that control points make for a bigger map since each control point is equivalent to eight corner points. You can space control points out a long way apart on features with a big smooth curve, to save on points and make the map file smaller.
3. When using either type of point, hold down ALT and left-click to place a point of the other type. You can also toggle the type of an existing point by selecting it and pressing CTRL-T.
4. Having a good map underlay is really important. The best ones are 1:50 000, followed by 1:100 000 which are also very good. 1:250 000 are useable but only if they are the only scale available as they tend to be not terribly detailed. This isn't really a problem in game mechanics terms but can produce a somewhat sterile-looking map. Libraries that have a good map room will often be able to produce a digital scan of the map for you, which is much better than trying to muck about scanning one A4 area at a time and pasting them all together! If you do get the library or a print shop to produce the scan, make sure it's at 300dpi or thereabouts (in relation to the original document).
5. You can avoid having to resize your map scan if you do a bit of math instead. The MapMaker will automatically resize your scan to fit the map size you enter, so rather than trying to resize the scan, just work out how high and wide it is in metres and use those figures when creating your new map.
6. You don't have to limit yourself to a North-South orientation. If the battle area is more easily depicted by rotating the map, you can do this by rotating the scan before you cut out the bit you want to model.
7. You can edit the text items even after they have been placed - select the item, press Enter (the one on the main keyboard) and off you go. Be aware that sometimes the style of the text gets reset when you do this so make sure you reselect the correct style.
8. It's not a bad idea to put a text item in one corner of the map showing the contour interval, and for use-made maps like yours, put your name in there as well so others know who to thank!
I've always started with the altitude layers, then hidden them and done the roads, then rivers, then vegetation and urban terrain (the last two not in any particular order). I would always recommend using an electronic underlay, even if you have a graphic tablet, because having the underlay up on the screen lets you see exactly how closely your efforts correspond to the original. Remember you can always select an item after it's done and drag individual points, or toggle them from control to corner and vice versa, to refine your map items after they are created.