This paper offers a methodological argument for analyzing maps in studies attentive to the politics of place and the representations of space. Recent literature on maps has focused on cartography as central to either state or national projects, but has rarely used maps as a lens to study sub-national conflicts over resources and space. I bring this literature into dialogue with analyses of the politics of place within political ecology. Drawing on Timothy Mitchell, I argue for a critique of cartography within such studies that 1) recognizes maps as both representations of landscape and attempts to reformat that landscape through representation and 2) understands maps as not simply failed attempts at social control but rather as documents that are part of complex material and symbolic struggles over space. Reading several key studies of the political ecology of place, I suggest that while these authors are attentive to nuanced struggles over space, they often overlook maps as ways of understanding particular, often state, views of landscape and geography. Analyzing maps as a means of understand views of landscape can offer new perspectives on competing agendas, epistemologies, and understandings of space in local conflicts over borders and resources. I conclude with an analysis that begins to suggest strategies, as well as pitfalls, of using maps in political ecology as well as an exploration of ‘counter-mapping’, which argues for local and community maps as means of contesting state views of landscape.