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A method of converting a picture into a "cartoon" or "map" whose regions correspond to differently textured regions is described. Texture edges in the picture are detected, and solid regions surrounded by these (usually broken) edges are "colored in" using a propagation process. The resulting map is cleaned by comparing the region colors with the textures of the corresponding regions in the picture, and also by merging some regions with others according to criteria based on topology and size. The method has been applied to the construction of cloud cover maps from cloud cover pictures obtained by satellites.