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Local Turk implements Amazon's Mechanical Turk API on your own machine.

It's handy if you want to:

  1. Develop a Mechanical Turk template
  2. Do some repetitive tasks on your own, without involving Turkers.

You could use it, for instance, to generate test and training data for a Machine Learning algorithm.

Quick Start


npm install -g localturk


cd localturk/sample
localturk --static_dir . transcribe.html tasks.csv outputs.csv

Then visit http://localhost:4321/ to start Turking.

Templates and Tasks

Using Local Turk is just like using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. You create:

  1. An HTML template file with a <form>
  2. A CSV file of tasks

For example, say you wanted to record whether some images contained a red ball. You would make a CSV file containing the URLs for each image:


Then you'd make an HTML template for the task:

<img src="${image_url}" />
<input type=radio name=has_button value="yes" /> Has a red ball<br/>
<input type=radio name=has_button value="no" /> Does not have a red ball<br/>

Finally, you'd start up the Local Turk server:

$ localturk path/to/template.html path/to/tasks.csv path/to/output.csv

Now you can visit http://localhost:4321/ to complete each task. When you're done, the output.csv file will contain


Image Classification

The use case described above (classifying images) is an extremely common one.

To expedite this, localturk provides a separate script for doing image classification. The example above could be written as:

classify-images --labels 'Has a red ball,Does not have a red ball' *.png

This will bring up a web server with a UI for assigning one of those two labels to each image on your local file system. The results will go in output.csv.

For more details, run classify-images --help.