Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 71, núm. 2, 2019, p. 249‒260



Technology and local wisdom: The Maya soil classification app

David J. Palma-López1, Francisco Bautista2,*

1Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Tabasco, Periférico Carlos A. Molina km 3.5, Heroica Cárdenas, 86500 Tabasco, Mexico.

2Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Antigua carretera a Pátzcuaro SN, Morelia, 58190 Michoacán, Mexico.

*This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


The Maya knowledge of soils has overcome the mistrust of soil scientist towards local and indigenous knowledge because it is a classification system with hierarchically organized concepts. With the aim of popularizing and improving Maya soil knowledge, we developed the Maya soil classification app. The app includes the description of Maya soil classes and of three Maya ecological terms (Petén, Kankabal, and A’kalche’) that associate the physical and biotic environments. The app includes photographs of soil profiles with their corresponding Maya terms and international classifications, along with a Maya soil classification map of the Mexican state of Yucatán showing the geographical location of Maya soil classes. Trough GPS services, the user can identify in the app the associations within local Maya soil classes. In this article we describe the structure and function of the app.

Keywords: soil knowledge, Ethnopedology, Maya knowledge, Yucatán, soil classes.