A Data Matrix may be considered a collection of assets indexed in Y Axis rows and X Axis columns-and occasionally, in a third dimension such as Z Axis levels. The Software Developer must specify two or more Parameters to make the selection of an individual asset or functionality.
In a two dimensional situation the X and Y coordinates of the Cursor may be used to specify which asset to display or otherwise manipulate. In a 3-D environment Z Axis coordinates derived from the Mouse Wheel or other control may be used as an additional Parameter.
In the following visualization the X-Axis and Y-Axis values of the outlined square are converted from Global (Stage) Coordinates to the Local Coordinates and used to display numeric Row and Columnar identities. The Mouse Wheel is configured to navigate the Z Axis of the 3D Index. This functionality can control any Bitmap Property such as Scale, Rotation, or transform.matrix Parameters, or any BitmapData Property such as colorTransform Parameters or perlinNoise Parameters. The integer values of those Parameters are displayed to the right of the square. The square may be Scaled without corrupting its indexing functionality.
"Mouse Over" the square for the visualization to initiate. If your browser is scrolling click on this link to open the application in an independent window.
The point of the visualization is that assets may in fact be indexed in a Matrix: a software development practitioner is not limited to the Dictionary Class or using an Object to create an asset repository. It is in the event of the Z Axis indexing that this method really shines, though it does not offer the performance advantages realized within the more common Object or Vector Classes.
Consider that with 10 discreet X Axis entities, 10 discreet Y Axis entities, and 100 discreet Z Axis entities, this very simple, light (9.2KB) and unintimidating graphic is presenting a visual index of 10,000 assets in a space of several hundred pixels. If I had not limited the output of the X and Y metrics to integers from 1 to 10, it would represent 1,000,000 assets!
The controls themselves are not limited to the Cursor's spatial or zoom Properties: they can certainly be bound to (animated by) the time of day, an .xml/RSS feed, or the manipulation of other Display Objects, interactivity, or data constructs within or external to the .swf.