For those of you that would like to try your hand in Map Making by starting from the beginning, having a good Paint Program is a must. There are several out there these days, however most of the old school tutorials created for Map Making were done with Paint Shop in mind. Paint Shop is great in that it does not use a ton of PC resource to run and this is the full free version.
Jasc Product Description:
Jasc Software's Paint Shop Pro is an image creation, viewing and manipulation program. Paint Shop Pro is designed for home users who want to retouch and edit photos (turn your photos into button images and your animals into cartoon figures) that can then be used in cards, calendars, or even sent electronically to friends; business users who need to create images for fliers, brochures, and newsletters; Web designers who want to create images that will make their Web site stand out; and digital photographers who have need of a professional package that provides photography and retouching tools to manipulate exposure levels, retouch, enhance, contrast, crop, or resize any image. The program can also be used to build digital photo archives.