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Set up and manage media Annotation

All you need to know about the Project Annotate view

Paige Kassalen avatar
Written by Paige Kassalen
Updated over a week ago

Annotation is a hugely important step in creating a great machine learning model. The Annotate Page of a Project helps you manage that process from start to finish. Here's a quick overview of that page.


The Overview box at the top gives you a high-level view of how your annotation is progressing. The progress bar and stats show you how close you are to having 100% of your media go through all three recommended phases of annotation:

  • Phase 1 - Initial annotation from scratch

  • Phase 2 - Annotation Review

  • Phase 3 - Final Review

Phase 3 is ultimately optional, but very useful in creating high quality training data.

Project Instructions

Project Instructions is a quick text box for you to provide quick information about how to annotate media specific to this project. We encourage you to re-use Annotation Categories across Projects, but there may be some Project-specific nuance you want to call out. The information you put here will be shown in the Annotation Instructions when someone is annotating your media.

(At CrowdAI, we call these Categories, but elsewhere you may hear the term classes or even ontology, which have similar meanings. We think Categories is a bit easier to understand, though.)

What's Being Annotated

As the name suggests, What's Being Annotated is the section where you decide which Annotation Categories you're going to look for and annotate in your media. Click in the text box to see a dropdown of recent Categories, or start typing to search by name. You can click Manage Categories to see all Categories used in your CrowdAI account, and even create new ones!

Be sure to click the Update button after you add your Categories! After you do, you can also click Preview Instructions to get a peek at how that information will look to users in the Annotation tool.

Annotation Group

The Annotation Group is the group of users who are going to annotate the media in this Project. It might just be you, or it might be friends or colleagues you've invited to join your CrowdAI account. Here's our article on how Annotation Groups work.

Select the Annotation Group you want from the dropdown and hit Start Annotation when you're ready. If you ever need to stop annotation for a while (maybe to make changes to the Project), you can always come back here and hit Pause Annotation, which will stop any new work from being done.

Annotation Chart

The Annotation Chart keeps track of your annotation progress over time. You can export the chart data to CSV.

Annotation Tasks

The Annotation Tasks table shows you a snippet of the lifecycle of the media being annotated in this Project. The three progress dots correspond to the three Annotation phases described at the top of this article.

Click the pop-out icon to view all Annotation Workflows.

You can also export this data to a CSV, or click Export Labels to export your annotations to use elsewhere.

Task Assignments

The Task Assignments table keeps track of active annotation task assignments for you. When a user (including yourself) starts an annotation task, CrowdAI "assigns" that task to them, so that other people don't attempt to work on it at the same time (which would cause a lot of duplicate effort and confusion).

As an Admin, sometimes you want to "take back" some of these tasks so other people can work on them. The unassign buttons here allow you to do just that.

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