A Triangulation Feature on the New 23andme

An exciting triangulation feature has just been released at 23andme. It is only for profiles that have transitioned to the new site and have selected open sharing (for now). The feature shows you the relatives you have in common with one other profile and whether or not they triangulate with the two of you.

To use this tool you go to Tools > DNA relatives > People and pick a DNA relative to look at. At the top of the comparison page there is a menu item “Relatives.” Click on it to skip down the page where you will see a display like this (names removed for privacy):


When there is a “Yes” in the right hand column, there is a DNA segment in common between the two people you are comparing and this third person thus you triangulate. A “No” means that although you each share DNA with this relative, there is no segment of DNA where all three of you match. Click on the Yes (or a No) to see the three of you compared in the chromosome browser.

Once in the chromosome browser, you can use the “Update View – Edit” to add more people to the comparison with the first person. This is the same chromosome browser that you get to from Tools > DNA relatives > DNA

Jason Lee has done a nice write up with more details on his DNA blog at Tumblr:

Sadly you cannot use this tool with relatives still on the old site, since they have not yet been able to opt in to “Open Sharing” yet.

12 thoughts on “A Triangulation Feature on the New 23andme

  1. Thanks Kitty (and Jason) for reporting this. 23andMe now joins GEDmatch as the only two companies to actually determine and report true Triangulated Groups. I’ve tried, for years, to get FTDNA to add a Yes/No to their ICW list, to no avail. And AncestryDNA remains way at the back of the pack on Triangulation. We’ve always had the ability to compare two kits (that share the same segment with us) to each other to determine Triangulation – the feature automates that process and makes it much easier. Come on FTDNA – without the ability to compare two matches against each other, the least you can do is just tell us Yes/No in the ICW list.

  2. I am still showing the message, “We will soon transition your account to the new 23andMe experience.” Any word on when the rest of us will get this?

    • I got an email from 23andMe last week that said they hope to migrate my account by the end of August. But that email was for only one of my seven kits, so I dont know if they are all moving or what.

  3. This is an interesting update to 23&me……

    Makes the process easy and straight forward….gives one hope that 23&me is still interested in those of us who use their service for genealogy….

  4. I can’t follow the instructions. Probably, because my accounts have not been transitioned. Wonder when that will occur.

  5. Since receiving this post I have been using this 23&me feature and it seems quite good…..The major problem I have encountered is the lack of information concerning it……Many persons do not have OPEN SHARING turned on, thus it doesn’t work for them. Why doesn’t 23&me have an area to announce such changes? Without Kitty’s blog I would have never known of this….Oh, I know it is buried somewhere in the 23&me forums, but that doesn’t seem a very effective method of communicating to me…..so 23&me gets a big thumbs up for the new feature and a thumbs down for effective communication.

    • Thanks for the report cousin-in-law Dennis! I am doing my presentation on Triangulation at the Jamboree first thing thursday morning so I will have to add this.

      By the way I did get Charlie’s granddaughter’s DNA when I visited her and it should show up at ancestry in a few weeks, then gedmatch…

      I checked the 23andme blog and saw nothing on this. Jason Lee mentioned it in the ISOGG group on facebook so then I blogged about it.

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  7. Thank you for this information! I just got transitioned to the new 23andMe today (Jul 27) and the first thing I thought was, oh no, the chromosome browser is gone. Now I know where to find it! (Not crazy about the cartoonish nature of the new site, but I supposed I’ll get used to it.)

  8. As I am very new to DNA, and I have been using GEDmatch to triangulate, I am happy to see this Triangulation feature in 23&me because it makes it so much easier to explain to my matches what is going on. Not everyone wants to deal with Triangulation at GEDmatch so this is a welcomed tool. I am new to 23&me so I can not compare to the “old” site.

    p.s. Because of this great triangulation tool, I was able to solve seven family matches in one afternoon !

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