I'm new to GIS.
I'm a physicist and I have a simulation which I usually run in numpy arrays (usually ending up with a heatmap or contour plot like below).
However, I now want to run the simulation over the geography of a country or region rather than just a square. I have the shape file for the region I'm interested in, and I know how to plot basic lat/long points, but how can I create some sort of array or grid to run a simulation over?
I've tried turning the shapefile into a binary mask and putting that into a numpy array, but that gets rid of any spatial information.
I'm solving a differential equation over a discrete scalar field (i.e. my numpy array is a discrete grid over some region, and the values in the array are evolved over time). I'm interested in how the geometry of the system affects the answer. Originally I used a square array and experimented with simple binary masks like circles etc., but the model is broadly to do with population movement so I want to use the geometry of a real region to investigate things further.