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Chapter 3. Trigonometry 101 > The Flash Coordinate System

The Flash Coordinate System

The coordinate system used in Flash is called the Cartesian coordinate system. (This may sound vaguely familiar to you from math classes, and if so, the information here should be a simple review.) Understanding how the Cartesian coordinate system is set up and how to use it is very important for a game developer. Why, exactly? Because in your games you will be creating and moving objects around the screen, using ActionScript to tell an object which coordinates to move to. And to write ActionScript that does this, you've got to have an understanding of the coordinate system. In this section I'll (re)acquaint you with this all-important grid. We'll also discuss how the Flash coordinate system measures angles.

Cartesian Coordinates

The Cartesian coordinate system is grid-based (made up of many equal-sized imaginary squares), with a horizontal axis called the x-axis and a vertical axis called the y-axis.


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