Tiles & Controls Generator from St. John Peaster is a simple script that will allow you to place tiles (essentially objects) across another surface in maya, providing some degree of controls in a floating panel Maya.

Tiles & Controls Generator will tile objects across a plane

Using the Tiles & Controls Generator, you build a tiled surface simply by defining an object as the ground plane, and selecting and setting the object you wish to tiles as the defined source tile, Tiles & Controls Generator will allow you to edit and change the row spacing, stagger the tile offset, and set the spacing between the tiles with the click of a button.

St. John Peaster notes that this is still in the works, however, he does make the script available through his site – check out the Tiles & Controls Generator for Maya in the MEL scripting section here, to learn more.