Existing studies using spatial data omit many crucial aspects of the conflicts under study. While all models must make simplifying assumptions, these models often reduce space to a simplistic notion of distance. Case studies of civil wars demonstrate how factors such as population density and transportation infrastructure shape the local spatial context of a conflict, and in turn influence the decisions made by combatants. Based on these observations, I discuss how future research can best use the information contained in spatial conflict data by combining it with a more nuanced understanding of the role space plays in the on- set, progression, and resolution of conflict. As an example, I demonstrate how this spatial context approach can build upon current group focused investigations of rebel movement evolution by providing a more complete universe of potential rebel groups, leading to more robust conclusions.