How to Search a Shared Match Network Graph

Take a look at our YouTube channel for a quick video on how to search a shared match network graph in the Boyne Analytics Match Graph application.This article gives a pictorial tutorial.

Must Have Search!

This feature was specifically requested by a customer who had over 100 thousand matches. She told us:

“On the big graph I would like to be able to search for the name of a specific match.”

Search! Wasn’t that an obvious need? Well, not really for the smaller-sized graphs where you simply pan and zoom to see names quickly and clearly. But this customer’s graph at a helicopter level was like this:

So when she had a specific match that she wanted to locate, it was a lot more panning and zooming than anyone would want to do. We immediately saw the problem she faced, and set out to provide a Search feature to search a shared match network graph.

Finding a Specific Match

But first we had to break the problem down a little more. Our customer said she wanted to search for the name of the match. Which is fine if the match is named Engelbert Humperdinck. But so many of our matches are named “Ann D” or “J.H.”, and these names are almost certain not to be unique in larger graphs. It’s the Match Kit ID that is certain to be unique. The what, you ask? This is the unique ID that Ancestry assigns to each user kit across all its testers. And happily, we provide the Match Kit in our spreadsheet reports.

But first we had to break the problem down a little more. Our customer said she wanted to search for the name of the match. Which is fine if the match is named Engelbert Humperdinck. But so many of our matches are named “Ann D” or “J.H.”, and these names are almost certain not to be unique in larger graphs. It’s the Match Kit ID that is certain to be unique. The what, you ask? This is the unique ID that Ancestry assigns to each user kit across all its testers. And happily, we provide the Match Kit in our spreadsheet reports.

Now on any graph, the new “find kit” button will search for the kit:

Paste the Kit ID you copied from the spreadsheet, and click OK.

A large green circle will suddenly appear, you won’t miss it as you roam an eye across the screen.

Then you can zoom in on that area in the graph and see the match and its neighbors in detail.

Finding Matches across Graphs

Another scenario is when you’re looking at a specific match graph, and you’d like to see where the smaller network fits into the big picture. In this case, you don’t need to use the spreadsheet reports.

There is a “copy kit” button on every graph. Hover over the node of interest, and hit “copy kit”. This puts the unique Kit ID into your clipboard. Now you can switch over to any other graph and use the “find kit” button.

Finding Matches direct from Ancestry

You may want to jump straight from Ancestry to see where the match you’re looking at is situated in your full shared match network. As we said, the match name – so clearly displayed in Ancestry – isn’t good enough to search with. You need the kit, which is easy to find when you know where to look.

While you’re on the match page, examine the address bar at the top of your browser. It will look like this:

Look for the last slash (“/”). The text after the last slash is the unique Kit ID in lower case.

You can copy that part of the text from the browser and paste it into the “find kit” box in the graph application.

Want to know more about Shared Match Network Graphs?

Here is a gentle introduction to the concept of representing your DNA matches within a shared match network graph.

Sign up for a Shared Match Network Graph

We are running a limited number of free trials for our Network Graph application. Request a trial with this link.

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