Note: You can get the local and world matrices directly from attributes on a dag node. You can also use the xform command.
In the example image, pCube1 is a child of pSphere1. If the position of both objects in the scene are random, we can find the local and world matrices for pCube1 and the world-space and local-space positions (translate, rotate, scale) of pCube1 with the example bits of code below. The channel box will only give us local or relative values to the objects parent.
Finding a world matrix from a local matrix
We could just call the inclusiveMatrix() method on a dagPath object to retrieve the world matrix (as is done below) but lets just say that for umm...some unknown reason you only had the local matrix to work with.