The option appears as one of two icons below the first displayed map, the other being for a random Old World map.
The map is a fair representation of much of western and central Europe, true even in the topography and resources: coal in Wales, tin in Cornwall, for example. When you get into it, you find that all minerals in the Old World are visible to all players, by contrast with the random maps for Imperialism 2 and all maps for Imperialism.
|Sweden||Light Blue||11||19||8||10||10||12||11||5||9||1||Includes Norway|
|France||Blue||15||32||14||4||23||14||9||10||10||2||(Corsica is Italian)|
|Spain||Yellow||14||33||19||2||12||28||9||11||9||4||Includes Belgium and Sardinia|
Grain could be a major deciding factor unless you are using the "simple" food option, because you need grain for at least half of your food supply and you can't buy it and you can't find any in the New World. However, your number of original provinces will have some influence too, especially if you set the "Foraging" option "On"; you can win with Portugal on the "Normal" difficulty level but it's hard. Spain has nine of its grain and four of its cattle fields in its "overseas" territories, requiring sea transport, but that still leaves it with more local cattle than any other GP.
A few of these are initially developed, as with all tiles adjacent to Old World capitals.
|(Minor nations totals)||9||1||6||2||18|
|(Old World totals)||16||7||24||10||57|
Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland have more than their share of iron ore, with little Holland and Portugal having less than what they might have hoped for.
England, Ireland, and Germany can be expected to offer tin for sale; but only Sweden and Italy can be expected to offer much copper, because Europe has an overall shortage of it. Spain can even plan to sell Bronze regularly, but when Steel becomes important you may find that England and France forge ahead.