The challenge of rendering bathymetric data is emphasizing features over a large scale while sustaining accurate data representation. Cartography is an ancient field of interest to draw upon for this purpose. The use of colors to represent ranges of elevation, known as hypsometric tints, is said to have been invented by Leonardo da Vinci. Contour lines complement hypsometric tints to depict more detailed information quantitatively. Both methods are familiar and intuitive. A similar approach is therefore highly desirable for application upon numerical datasets where interactive exploration is mandatory for data analysis, especially when exploring complex geomorphology.

Vish provides a highly efficient method to render a height field given on a triangular mesh in a manner similar to well-known cartographic views, enhanced by essential or useful features such as line smoothing, gradient compensation, visibility fading, non-linear elevation mapping and shininess variation.