Taking another stab at the sphere map. I swapped out the test image for one that’s easier to follow pixel by pixel. This time the script assumes a 17px square image. It reorders the image pixel data by starting in the center and spiraling out.
The 3D approach is becoming more complicated than I anticipated. Applying a direct pixel map of the center portion of the image distorts it unrecognizably. It appears as though the sphere polygons are referenced in a spiral pattern starting at the north pole all the way around and down to the south.
Manual colorization of a #WebGL sphere in three.js. Originally, I was going to make a 2D canvas app that averaged out camera input into a mosaic of hexagons. The 3D environment adds a level of technical complexity but it also has the potential to add spherical distortion effects and possibly some subtle animation.