DNA.land new features: GENI connection

It really makes sense for a DNA company or third party DNA tools site to let you link to your profile at a genealogy site rather than reinventing the wheel with their own tree software. So DNA.land now has a feature where you can link your GENI profile to your DNA results page. Then your matches can view your family tree at GENI to see where you might be related.

Last fall I blogged about DNA.land -a nice new web site created by Erlich Lab (a non profit associated with Columbia University). The idea is to have you upload your raw DNA test results in order to contribute to their research and then you get some DNA features in return. The privacy is good: only your matches and the relatives of matches can see your profile and where your DNA matches theirs. So perhaps get your ancestry matches to upload their data there if they are leery of the more open GEDmatch.

At Rootstech I attended a talk by Dina Zielinski from Erlich Lab about DNA.land and the power of big data. She played a wonderful video (above) showing human migration as seen from Erlich Labs analysis of the birth places of 43 million public profiles from Geni.com

Some other interesting tidbits from her talk were that 20% of your longevity is in your genes and that the expected NPE (non paternal event) rate from genealogists has been validated.

The recent breakthrough in the genetics of schizophrenia would not have been possible without the “the statistical power conferred by analyzing the genomes of 65,000 people.” The Erlich lab does similar research. They are working on the genetics of rare disorders like Joubert and Goldenhar syndrome as well as Parkinson’s. I am excited to contribute my DNA to their research, have you uploaded yours yet?

In order to connect GENI profiles to the kits of some of my very elderly relatives who have given me full permission to have my way with their DNA, I had to set their GENI profiles up with email addresses and accept the GENI invites. Then I logged in to their new GENI accounts before logging into their DNA.land accounts (which also needed separate email addresses).

A little known trick to create extra email addresses when you have a gmail account is that you can add a plus to your name followed by a new name. This will create another email address that will come to your normal account. So for example the email address myname+dad@gmail.com will be delivered to the myname account.

Another new feature at DNA.land is the ability to see the relatives of your relatives, which sounds interesting but I have not done much with it yet. Also since my blog post last October they have added a speculative matches section below your high certainty matches, giving your more matches to follow up on (and maybe if you are in luck, they will be connected to the tree at GENI).


What I like best about the DNA.land display is the “old” versus “recent” DNA match segments. My match with my Dad above even shows some old segments. I also like how compact it is.

7 thoughts on “DNA.land new features: GENI connection

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  1. I have trees on ancestry and wikitree and just tried to use geni to link to my DNA land results. Is it right that you can’t import a gedcom? That seems crazy for a genealogy site!

    Also I now finally have one high certainty match and 3 speculative matches at DNA.land. There doesn’t seem to be anything in help that tells me how they have been worked out. Interestingly the speculative matches seem to have closer predicted relationship ranges than the high certainty one. Any idea how this is worked out?

    • It would be nice if DNA.land also offered WIKItree (best for showing DNA tests and such) or Ancestry or FamilySearch but so far just GENI.

      Most world collaborative trees have to control the use of GEDcoms so the tree does not become a mess. You usually have to go line by line or person by person but not GENI.

      If you have Chrome there is an addon called SmartCopy from History Link which allows you to copy the details of a person over from ancestry or many other sites after putting their name in – see https://www.geni.com/projects/SmartCopy/18783
      Someday I will blog about it but I have been afraid that people will abuse it and ruin the tree there …

    • Another thought is that you could make you profile public on GENI and put links to your other trees in the About section.

      Also I see I did not answer your question about high certainty and speculative matches. Did you click on the “show table”? here is what the FAQ at DNA.land says at
      “High Certainty Matches” refers to users who share many long segments which likely originated from a recent common ancestor. “Speculative Matches” refers to users who share long segments, but more likely due to multiple distant ancestors rather then a single recent one.’

  2. I linked my DNA.Land account to Geni three weeks ago. So far none of my “DNA Cousins” have their accounts linked. The value will be when a lot of people start linking to their Geni accounts. I agree that the “old” versus “recent” DNA match segments is a useful discriminator.

    I have three “high certainty” matches and three”speculative” matches so far. DNA.land has some real promise when they overcome inertia and build a larger database.

  3. I must be very stupid, since I can’t seem to create a DNA land file no matter how many times I “choose two files”. It’s as if my mac refuses to download the files properly. There aren’t any obvious instructions to avoid this problem, since the mac instructions seem to be out-of-date with how my mac is working at the moment. VERY FRUSTRATING.

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