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Is there a name for the default avatars that are generated for users who do not assign one themselves?

Not the avatar of the blank user, but the one made up of shards, shapes, and colours:

Is there an online generator for something like that?

See also:

How do I change my profile picture, or avatar?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 25 '09 at 17:58

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16  
Thanks for asking this, I have been dying to know. –  Ali A Nov 6 '08 at 9:45
    
We need to make this a wiki. Thanks for the question, I added it to the FAQ. –  George Stocker Jan 8 '09 at 21:53
    
@George: made wiki. better late than never, no? :) –  quack quixote Apr 7 '10 at 4:53
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4 Answers 4

They're called Identicons.

If you do not upload your own image, then SO uses Gravatar and specifies Identicons as the default image:

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10  
It's not Gravatar who uses identicons as a default image. It's SO who chooses (with an URL parameter) to use identicon (instead of a standard image or monster-id. –  runaros Nov 6 '08 at 11:10
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They are called Identicons. The Gravatar identicon image is based off of an MD5 hash of your email address. Here is an identicon implmentation if you are using .NET. There are other implementations listed in the Wikipedia article as well.

Important Update You may also be interested in Unicornicons.

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3  
Gravatar use a hash of the email address, not the IP. –  Nick Johnson Dec 28 '08 at 17:34
    
Good to know. That makes sense for Gravatar since they have the email address. –  Lance Fisher Dec 29 '08 at 18:45
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Checkout Coding Horror, it has an algorithm based on IP Address similar to SO.

From Wikipedia:

An Identicon is a visual representation of a hash value, usually of the IP address, serving to identify a user of a computer system. The original Identicon is a 9-block graphic, which has been extended to other graphic forms by third parties some of whom have used MD5 instead of the IP address as the identifier. In summary, an Identicon is a privacy protecting derivative of each user's IP address built into a 9-block image and displayed next the user's name. A visual representation is thought to be easier to compare than one which uses only numbers and more importantly, it maintains the person's privacy. The Identicon graphic is unique since it's based on the users IP, but it is not possible to recover the IP by looking at the Identicon.

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Atwood's Law: That code has been ported to JavaScript: github.com/hgwr/identicon –  Sam Hasler Feb 24 '12 at 13:41
    
Link on there is dead, there's an (I think) older version on CodePlex: identicon.codeplex.com. There were some minor (Dispose) issues with it, so I've just uploaded a patch for this (and a little performance improvement). –  Wout Sep 23 '12 at 18:54
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As regards showing them automatically with Gravatar, here is the answer I posted here:

The 'random' colorful gravatars are displayed because this query string parameter is being added to every gravatar source url: d=identicon

This is done so that if the user doesn't have a gravatar image associated with his email, this 'random' image is displayed, instead of the default blue gravatar image.

The following displays the 'default' blue image because the parameter is not included: alt text

Yet, the same url with the d=identicon parameter included, shows this: alt text

PS: This is the url used for the example: http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/94d093eda664addd6e450d7e9881bcad?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG

Btw, these images (called Identicons) are not really random, but are generated based on a Hash of your IP address.

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