Yes, but see if you can come up with a sphere mapping that doesn’t. (hint: it’s not possible)
Think about the geodetic mapping… things get totally warped at the poles.
An octahedron is not what I’m talking about.
A cube is basically a six sided sphere. If you subdivide each face into quads and project the new points out to the sphere along their radial lines, you end up with a 24 sided figure where most of the shapes are “squarish”. Do it again you get 98 sides and so on.
The nice thing is that each of those six sides is still ‘quadish’ in shape so the math is really easy. Given some position on the globe, it’s a few dot products to find out which tile you are in.
Your data will have to be generated with this warping in mind but you solve 100 other problems that other mappings would create… and the nice thing is that the quads are, relatively speaking, equal area as compared to geodetic mapping.
Edit: here is a good illustration of the difference between geodetic and a spherized cube (called a ‘quad sphere’ apparently):
Edit 2: and with more subdivisions:
Edit 3: actually that one is a poor illustration because they seem to have normalized the quads somewhere… a real version will be a little more distorted throughout and a little less distorted at the corners.
Edit 4: I should close google images now before it’s too late!!!