Due to this new type of visual data I was working with, I needed a way to convert it into form. Grasshopper has a very cleaver component which converts the colour in an image into numbers. This is interesting because it where NASA have converted all the complex lists of data into an visual image, grasshopper converts this image back into data which can the be easily read by grasshopper which will then be converted into rhino. The image sampler component in Grasshopper reads each individual pixel of an image converting the colour of the pixel into a number. What I have done in grasshopper is moved a number of points a certain distance in relation to the number which is defined by the pixel colour with the pixel colour being defined by the data from the oceans. This means that the different colours in the image will create different heights of the points. This matrix of points can be then made into a surface with low pints and high points which relate back to the data from the oceans. Below you can see some variation on this definition, the bottom one is the simplest one and produced the best result.
The resulting point matrixes and surfaces
The next stage of this process was to try and convert these forms onto 3D shapes such as a sphere or a cylinder. This provided to be quite tricky but with some external help in the Grasshopper forum I managed it, below is the revised definition see next post for the new forms.