Geometries for organ scale and multiscale simulations of organ function are now routinely derived from imaging data. However, medical images may also contain spatially heterogeneous information other than geometry that are relevant to such simulations either as initial conditions or in the form of model parameters. In this manuscript, we present an algorithm for the efficient and robust mapping of such data to imaging-based unstructured polyhedral grids in parallel. We then illustrate the application of our mapping algorithm to three different mapping problems: (i) the mapping of MRI diffusion tensor data to an unstructured ventricular grid; (ii) the mapping of serial cyrosection histology data to an unstructured mouse brain grid; and (iii) the mapping of computed tomography-derived volumetric strain data to an unstructured multiscale lung grid. Execution times and parallel performance are reported for each case. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.