I noticed that in the StackOverflow data dump many profiles miss the ProfileImageUrl column.

What is the reason for this, because I could still get this data by scraping all profiles that I am interested in, but I guess that is not something StackExchange would want me to do (and it also takes a lot of time, which the data dump could have reduced drastically...)?

EDIT: See this query of my profile on StackOverflow: https://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/264578

EDIT2: In case some troll edits that query:

SELECT ProfileImageUrl FROM Users WHERE DisplayName = 'jabbink'

Result: empty

  • 1
    Weird. 1794029 users with a value, 2044242 users without a value. Can't see a pattern. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 14:58
  • I first thought that maybe Gravatar URL's were removed, but the dump contains users with a gravatar URL (and also, if I really wanted this data, I could still scrape it, which is just counterproductive).
    – jabbink
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 14:59
  • Wild guess: users that changed their profile picture after the (relatively recent) addition of locally-hosted profile images were added have that field blank, perhaps because the system now has different columns to track profile images? Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


We directly export the ProfileImageUrl column from the Users table as is. Internally, we do not store Gravatar URLs now, but we used to in the past and the data basically reflects that.

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