- Countries require borders, which tend to follow geographic boundaries (e.g. a mountain range, a river).
- Countries that are not on friendly terms with each other require easily defended boundaries, whether natural, man-made or a combination of the two (e.g. a mountain range, a wall, a guarded pass).
- Administrative areas require roughly the same kinds of boundaries as countries on friendly terms with each other.
- Administrative areas tend to be made up of similar types of land.
- Capitals or county towns require good transport links to most of the area they head (i.e. capitals need to have easy routes to regional centres, regional centres to county towns etc.).
- Villages tend to belong to the administrative area it is easiest to reach. (Note easiest, not easy. Some areas can be quite remote.)
(cf. the reasons for the positioning of settlements themselves at http://worldforge.org/project/newsletters/September2002/OperationBootstrap/#SECTION04000000000000000000)