Choi's Maya Adventure- Texturing

Hi everyone from a land of pens, parachutes and light bulbs
Before I dwell on the texturing of  our little sacboy model, which we all know and love, I'll first need to learn all the basics.  
Which I have  =)  
And if you don't mind, I'm going to tell you all about it now. 
Here's the first thing I've done: 

 2 minuts of rendering; my computer SUCKS!
 2 minuts of rendering; my computer SUCKS!
Original picture and size here!
Pretty cool result, keeping in mind that there are only 3 spheres of geometry here! One is the ground, the other is the cloud layer and the third large one  representing space. 
While googling for Earth textures, I came across this great site that already has them all. 

Bump Map

With this easy example, I'm going to show you how you can tell Maya what values you want on your geometry by turning images into valuable information. 
 Keep in mind that most attributes you assign to shaders (which are later assigned  to geometry) are just numerical values (transparency, reflection, bump etc.) , if you don't count attributes that can be colored (colors are 3 channels; red, green, blue). 
So if you load an image like this one into a bump map channel:  
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You'll tell Maya that the part that is white is higher (1) then the black part (0) and the grey is everything in between (0-1).  
Easy as pie! When you wrap your mind around it and realize you can manipulate pretty much any attribute this way, it becomes a very powerful tool. 
Hope you liked this little sneak peak, stay tuned for more texturing goodness!  
Comments, suggestions and critique always welcome! 
Thanks for reading!