Max Harlow

I’m a software developer working with news and government organisations. Currently that’s Ordnance Survey’s Geovation hub. Previously I was the technical lead at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and before that a developer at the Guardian.

I also co-run Journocoders, a group helping journalists and other people working in the media to develop technical skills for use in their reporting.

Projects

  1. Newsagent

    Automatically identify potential story leads. Lets you create autonomous bots which poll data sources and run predefined data analysis. Results are then compared to the last time the bot ran – and any additions or deletions trigger an email alert.

  2. Graphik

    Create simple static charts quickly – a tool for the non-technical. Can be easily customised to your organisation's house style using a simple stylesheet.

  3. Reconcile

    Enrich your data by doing batch lookups against various online services. For example, quickly convert a list of company names into a list of directors of those companies.

  4. CSV Match

    Finds matches in two spreadsheets, optionally using various fuzzy-matching algorithms. Used by organisations including the Guardian, the Times, and news agency Irin who used it to identify a company the United Nations had a contract with who was also on its own sanctions list.

More projects

Talks

  1. Building a culture of knowledge sharing in journalism

    Dataharvest 2017Mechelen, Belgium

    As data becomes increasingly important to journalism reporters need to keep their skills up to date. However, newsrooms have less budget for training and conferences than ever before. This was a lightning talk on how Journocoders tries to solve these problems. Video here. Slides here.

  2. The power of fuzzy: finding connections in a messy world

    CSV Conf 2017Portland, USA

    Like our reality, our data is often messy. Finding meaningful connections between such datasets often means using fuzzy matching algorithms. This was a high-level look at some of the most commonly used algorithms, their pros and cons, and how they are used in practice. Slides here.

More talks

Teaching

  1. Introduction to code for journalists

    London, UK

    Want to take your first steps with code but not sure how to begin? Or want to learn how code is being used in the newsroom and if it can help you and your team? This weekend workshop is an introductory primer to learning to code, showing recent story examples, explaining the fundamental concepts in programming, and demystifying the jargon. Book here.

  2. Exploring networks with Neo4j

    CIJ Summer Conference 2017London, UK

    Graph database Neo4j has been used as part of an increasing number of investigative stories including the Panama Papers. This two-hour session was a hands-on introduction to the tool, examples of how it has been used, and a demonstration showing how to build a database of political donations matched with corporate data, revealing the networks involved.

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