The manual labeling of large numbers of objects is a frequent occurrence when training deep learning classifiers in the digital histopathology domain. Often this can become extremely tedious and potentially even insurmountable.
To aid people in this annotation process we have developed and released Quick Annotator (QA), a tool which employs a deep learning backend to simultaneously learn and aid the user in the annotation process. A pre-print explaining this tool in more detail is available [here].
Update-Nov 2020: Code has now been placed in github which enables the reading and writing of compressed geojson files at all stages of the process described below. Compression reduces the file size by approximately 93% : )
QuPath is a digital pathology tool that has become especially popular because it is both easy to use to and supports a large number of different whole slide image (WSI) file formats. QuPath is also able to perform a number of relevant analytical functions with a few mouse clicks. Of interest in this blog post is mentioning that the pathologists we tend to work with are either already familiar with QuPath, or find it easier to learn versus other tools. As a result, QuPath has become a goto tool for us for both the creation, and review of, annotations and outputs created by our algorithms.
Here we introduce a robust method using GeoJSON for exporting annotations (or cell objects) from QuPath, importing them into python as shapely objects, operating upon them, and then re-importing a modified version of them back into QuPath for downstream usage or review. As an example use case we will be looking at computationally identifying lymphocytes in WSIs of melanoma metastases using a deep learning classifier.