Full code can be found in my GitHub repository. The image above is generated by MappedPlanets.pov, from which the following is excerpted:
png "Fractal1.png" // image to map
map_type 1 // 1=spherical
interpolate 2 // 2=bilinear
} // image_map
ambient rgb <.35,.35,.35>
Most 3D modeling programs contain a feature to perform similar mappings. For programmers seeking to display a planet (or globe) in an application, this can be done via some simple UV mapping between a sphere and the map by applying some spherical trigonometry. I'll cover that at some point in the future - perhaps I'll create a simple application to let you select an image file and manipulate the resulting globe. In any case, that's it for now.
The next post is likely to be on another topic, however.