Six core concepts relate the spatial structure and transportation:
- Location implies the setting of an absolute system of reference (coordinate system) that can be reached by at least one mode of transportation.
- Distance is a measure of the friction of space when a movement occurs and cannot be evaluated without at least two known locations. This friction can be expressed according to several factors such as length, time, cost, effort, energy, or even the psychological perception of distance as a deterrent.
- Fixedness. Since locations are fixed (absolute), disparities are incurred because economic, technological, social, and political conditions change in space and time, whereas the geographical location remains the same. This is the main reason why different rates of change are observed across geography.
- Attributes. All locations have different geographical attributes, which are all the characteristics relevant to a location. A core characteristic relates to available resources, such as land, capital, and labor (qualifications and costs). The fact that locations have different attributes is an important factor behind the generation and attraction of movements.
- Relativity. All locations are relative since they must be considered in a wider context and since a location is often located by drawing reference to another. The importance of a location changes with regard to its importance relative to other locations and the scale at which the comparison is made (local, regional, or global). The relative position changes in time and with the development of activities. Locations that were considered peripheral can become central through socioeconomic changes (and vice versa).
- Dynamics involves three major issues. First, changes at a location impact linked locations. Second, if a new link is created, the importance of locations bound to this link will change. Third, whatever the nature of the change, the effect will be positive or negative.