This is a new company on the market and has only been around for a couple of years, so the fact that we are reviewing them just goes to show that they have come leaps and bounds in the past few years. GPS Origins is produced by the DNA Diagnostics Center who believe that advancements in technology should be available to all.
Many other DNA testing services will not be able to offer the type of next-generation technology that GPS Origins can. In fact, they are able to precisely pinpoint the location of where your DNA comes from, not just give you a general region.
Ease of Use
Collecting your sample
Getting your hands on a GPS Origins test is very simple. All you have to do is visit the website and create an account for yourself. From there you will be sent a home DNA testing kit with four swabs inside. You will have to run those cheek swab tests and pack them into the pre-paid postage envelope you have received.
When they get to the lab, your samples will be tested by a team of PhD experts. The lab testing process should take no longer than 2-3 weeks, which is a lot shorter than many other testing agencies.
Receiving your results
There are a number of methods of testing used by GPS Origins, which will give you answers about your ancestors. The three main data points that the company uses include autosomal genetic markers, reference populations and gene pools. Before you are able to view your results you will have to create an account on the site.
Within your results, you will get both a breakdown of your ethnic origins as well as two migration maps showing you how your ancestors migrated throughout history.
If we are looking at their broadest testing technique, this happens at the autosomal level. These are the genetic markers which can provide insight into your DNA origins. The great thing about GPS Origins is that they examine around 800,000 of these markers.
This company will also examine reference populations which are norms recognized through the analysis of a demonstrative sample of individuals within an exact time period.
Additionally, they use gene pool analysis. This is a test which lets scientists identify genetic markers which have been known to belong to distinct populations from precise regions in the world. These populations will have had little or no interaction with anyone outside of their community for as many as 20,000-60,000 years.
GPS Origins offer their most detailed information, sometimes even being able to pinpoint your ethnic origins down to just one village. The probability of this happening depends on three factors:
- The amount of information that exists regarding a specific location
- Homogeneity of the gene pool within the area
- Both of your parents having roots in that same area
The report that you receive will give you all of this information, which can be saved or downloaded as a PDF. The results are organized in a visually appealing way which consists of maps, gene pool percentages as well as migration patterns.
What’s more, GPS Origins also provides you with a Google map and will include all of the pinpoints that are specific to your DNA origins.
The report that is available to you is separated into two parts. They are your ‘Gene Pool Percentages’ and ‘DNA Migration Routes’. You will also receive additional charts and maps included in both of your reports.
Within your profile, you also have the option to download your report, but this has been known to not work. If that is the case you should contact customer service and they will help you sort out your problem.
Gene Pool Percentages
The first section of your results will take you to an interactive map containing your top three gene pools and your percentages. By clicking on each gene pool you will see it indicated on the map. An interesting feature is that the color intensifies where the gene pool is most dominant.
Just below those three gene pools, you are given information regarding the gene pool regions. Here you can learn everything from the history of agriculture to the language development in that exact area. On top of that, you will be able to see the migration patterns that happened there and at which periods of time this occurred.
Clicking on the ‘All Gene Pools’ button you will be given the complete results of all of your gene pools. You can browse the top ten gene pools that have contributed to your DNA makeup from the highest percentage down to the lowest. This is a very interesting feature, however, it could be made even more fun if GPS Origins added those locations on the map as well. Not everyone is aware of where some of these places are.
DNA Migration Routes
The second section of your report will focus on the migration routes that your ancestors took thousands of years ago. You will receive two migration maps on which you will see the maternal and paternal migration routes have taken all those years ago.
Each stationary point will show the location of a population that contributed to your ethnic mix. The interactive map will allow you to focus on each one of these points and learn about historical factors which caused those population groups to move onto another place.
Beneath that, you will find your migration story. This is a feature that will truly bring the journey of your ancestors alive. Here you will learn about what caused these people to migrate in the first place.
The privacy of their customers is something that GPS Origins considers to be of incredible importance, as they should. Distributed by the DNA Diagnostics Center, a reputable company, they assure their customers that their privacy will be taken care of.
DDC will not release any of your information or share it with third parties without your explicit permission. Only your instructions will be followed when and if any information is to be transferred to other parties.
Your personal information will never be released over the phone and the DDC will incorporate all of the standard safety measures in order to keep your personal profile and data transfers secure.
The full GPS Origins test is able to analyze over 730,000 genetic variants. This is more than any of the other testing companies out there. The test itself features the most specific DNA test results with a detailed geographic report. The test results are based on an original algorithm which has been published in the Nature Communications Journal.
Of the various tests on offer, GPS testing offers the following.
GPS Origins Ancestry DNA Test
This test includes the following:
- Specific data which is extracted from 41 possible gene pools around the world
- The geographic origin location of your DNA chain
- Migration patterns of your DNA chain which can date up to 1,000 years back (including both your maternal and paternal genetic journey)
- The progressive point when your DNA underwent its final major alteration in terms of a population level
- Summary page with links that will aid you in further genetic research
The algorithm will consist of the following:
- Ability to upload your raw existing data
- Human migration stories
- Genetic origin percentages
- Ancestral migration route
When it comes to DNA testing kits, competitive prices have made each DNA company lower their costs, which is fantastic for customers. GPS Origins also stick to this general price range, so their services are affordable for virtually everyone around the world.
You will often find discount codes on their site which will usually afford you about $10 off the original price. The shipping is free, and this includes the shipping to the lab center as well, which is always a bonus.
In terms of customer service, GPS Origins has a solid deal for you there. On the website, you have a comprehensive and detailed FAQ section which will let you in on anything you wish to find out. They also provide a breakdown of their service and what you can expect to happen during the process as well as what your results will look like. By clicking on an individual testing kit you can see a sample of your results that you will receive.
Sometimes it helps to speak to a real person so you can work out any problems along the way. You can do so by sending an email or giving them a call on 1-800-281-2916.
If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, GPS Origins is the DNA testing solution for you. You might not get everything that is offered by other services like Ancestry.com, but on the other hand, you will find out other aspects that you discover from standard DNA testing companies.
The gene pool percentages will give you more than enough information about your ancestors and the DNA migration maps will bring their whole journey to life. It is fascinating to think that your family history could be pinpointed to just one small village in the whole entire world. But, GPS Origins makes this a possibility, so why not choose them for your DNA experience?