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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

New augmented reality app tells the story of Mérida’s iconic corner plaques

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The cantina “El Gatillo,” on 60 and 63 takes its name from the plaque of the same name on the corner. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida´s municipal government is launching a new mobile phone application to tell the story of the city’s iconic Centro corner plaques.

Before literacy was prevalent these plaques were important markers to help people navigate throughout the city throughout the 19th century.

At launch during this weekend’s Noche Blanca, the augmented reality app will only recognize a dozen plaques, but developers say more are on the way soon. 

At one time, at least 441 of these plaques existed on city corners, but today the number is closer to 100. 

Each plaque depicts a figure, often an animal, person, or scene, accompanied by the corner’s name. 

Because they are so recognizable, over time businesses sprung up at these locations adopting the name of the corner and plaque.

Earlier: Yucatán’s most famous attractions enter the Metaverse

“When people come to Mérida they always notice these plaques, and it’s no wonder, they are quite cool. With this new application they can now learn more about each location and a little local folklore,” said program supervisor Luis Ramírez Ramírez.

The app also offers what developers describe as a poetic tour of Parque de las Americás’ stone pillars.

The columns, erected nearly 80 years ago, are scattered throughout the park. Each represent a country on the American continent and thus giving the park its name. 

Each stone column at Parque Las Americás includes the name, or abbreviation, of a country on the American continent, as well as its coat of arms. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

This is not the first time Mérida has launched such an application, with previous examples focusing on attractions such as the Monumento a la Patria and the city’s biodiversity.  

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