Maps in newspapers generated many discussions among cartographers and geographers working from different approaches and theoretical backgrounds. This work examines these maps from a historiographical as well as a historical perspective. It considers three main questions, namely how maps in the press should be conceptualized, how cartographic images in newspapers have been studied, and how these images changed over time. In order to provide a perspective on the origins, development, and impact of war maps in the press, this work will explore maps representing three geopolitical conflicts for Brazilian audiences: The War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870), World War II (1939–1945) and the War on Drugs in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas (1994–2010). By exploring these war maps, specific cartographic practices used in this genre as well as the connections that this mode has with other types of map production and consumption will be identified.