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The visual image of reflected light is influenced by the complex interplay of human color discrimination, spatial relationships, surface texture, and the spectral purity of light, dyes, and pigments. Scientific theories of image processing may not always achieve acceptable results as the variety of factors, some psychological, are in part, unpredictable. Tonal relationships that affect digital image processing and the transfer functions used to transform from the continuous-tone source image to a lithographic image, may be interpreted for an insight of where art and science fuse in the production process. The application of art and science in image map production at the U. S. Geological Survey is illustrated and discussed.