Neuroscience has become increasingly reliant on multi-subject research in addition to studies of unusual single patients. This research has brought with it a challenge: how are data from different human brains to be combined? The dominant strategy for aggregating data across brains is what I call ‘the cartographic approach’, which involves mapping data from individuals to a spatial template. Here I characterize the cartographic approach and argue that one of its key steps, registration, should be carried out in a way that is sensitive to the target of investigation. Because registration aims to align homologous brain locations, but not all homologous locations can be simultaneously aligned, a multiplicity of registration methods is required to meet the needs of researchers investigating different phenomena. I call this position ‘registration pluralism’. Registration pluralism has potential implications for neuroscientific practice, three of which I discuss here. This work shows the importance of reflecting more carefully on data aggregation methods, especially in light of the substantial individual differences that exist between brains.