I'd like to transform an image so that it can be mounted on a sphere. I'd like to use an image of a map (see the One Piece world map on the image), but it could be anything. Here is a kind of Family Picnic Photo that I could use, (this isn't my family, is just a Google result). I'd like to do this as a gift for my cousin on his birthday. I'm beginner on photo processing and manipulation and normally I use Linux, but every suggestion is welcome.

One Piece World Map

I would like a way to transform this image or photo into a "globular" image/photo, to put on something like this:

Real World Map

Is there any software that can do this for me? If not, how would I go about computing the necessary slices of my image to fit?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you give a practical example of how this might really be useful for something other than a map? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm I'm thinking print a photo, if all family in a panoramic version and put it on a globe. I'm not sure if will works well but I'd like to try. \$\endgroup\$
    – GarouDan
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay. :) Put that in the question, and I think we have no doubt as to its on-topicness. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer on GIS SE might be of interest \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 23:39

3 Answers 3


IP-Slicer perl script can create slices which can stuck together into a ball. You can define the number of slices.

The following command will create 12 slices, where the sphere circumference is 1500 pixels.

sphere-slicer.pl 12 1500 sampleimage.jpg

Sample input:

input for IP-Slicer

Output (12 images):

output1 output2 output3 output4 output5 output6 output7 output8 output9 output10 output11 output12

  • \$\begingroup\$ Slick tool and, if he's on Linux, should be easy to get it going. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 21:39
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @asalamon74 Very interesting. I think this solve my entire question. Really thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – GarouDan
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I have a globe with x cm of perimeter, what the number of pixels of this globe? \$\endgroup\$
    – GarouDan
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 14:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That depends on the printing. Check this question about dpi: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/2041/what-does-dpi-mean \$\endgroup\$
    – asalamon74
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a little difficult to make this script works. But it runs ok to me now. Thx @asalamon74 . But it's unclear to me wich "sphere circumpherence" parameter pass to the script to print the image and fit it exactly on the globe. I had find this site and I got 1500 pixel (X) = 39.6875 centimeter, so your outputs it's for a globe with 39.7 cm of circumpherece? Am I need the dpi resolution of a image before run the script? Can you explain a bit more how to do this? =) \$\endgroup\$
    – GarouDan
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 10:22

I found an interesting page offering both online and offline tools to create "gores" to be glued on a real sphere.

The most interesting is "USGS Daisy-Petal creator (requires .NET 2.0)", which creates "half gores" joined at the poles, thus making much easier to align and glue.



GIMP has an extension called MathMap that can do this, too.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ welcome to photo.stackexchange. A longer answer would be better, tells us how you use MathMap for example. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 16:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that a longer answer would be better. For example, what are MathMaps's capabilities and limitations? \$\endgroup\$
    – JenSCDC
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 17:08

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